Teachers launch YouTube channel from Norfolk forest

Asa Hardy-Brownlie and Ian Sippitt who have founded their own remote learning Forest Folk YouTube channel.

Ian Sippitt and Asa Hardy-Brownlie who have founded their own remote learning Forest Folk YouTube channel. - Credit: Submitted

Lockdown learning has seen two teachers at a Norfolk school launch a Youtube channel to encourage children to head outdoors and explore nature. 

Aurora Eccles School in Quidenham has remained open throughout the pandemic and has continued to run its forest school for children with learning, communication and social interaction difficulties.

Determined to keep pupils in touch with nature, inspirational teachers and Forest School practitioners – Asa Hardy-Brownlie and Ian Sippitt - founded their own remote learning Forest Folk YouTube channel.

Asa Hardy-Brownlie and Ian Sippitt presenting videos on their Forest Folk YouTube channel.

Asa Hardy-Brownlie and Ian Sippitt presenting videos on their Forest Folk YouTube channel. - Credit: YouTube

Mr Sippitt said: “When Covid hit and the first lockdown happened we looked how we could best engage those at home in some form of Forest School. Obviously it is about being and doing in nature, but with people stuck indoors we wanted to reach out and give them something they could engage with in their own way. 

“Sending work home to children in lockdown is much easier if you’re a maths teacher than it is if your work is in the woods, so we thought what are we going to be able to provide?”

The Forest Folk YouTube videos are mostly filmed in the woodlands at Aurora Eccles School in Quidenham.

The Forest Folk YouTube videos are mostly filmed in the woodlands at Aurora Eccles School in Quidenham. - Credit: Submitted


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Their free videos sharing ideas for forest learning have proved a big hit not just with the school’s own pupils but as far afield as Florida.

Mr Hardy-Brownlie said: “We know that other schools are now using our videos as part of their outdoor provision, including Norfolk, Essex and even in Orlando!

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“It is intended to be for our pupils, and we always release the videos for our kids first, but we quickly realised during the pandemic that people were becoming so disconnected with the outside world and nature, stuck behind screen and indoors, that we wanted to give them an escape.”

A pupil at Aurora Eccles School in Quidenham enjoys the outdoors inspired by The Forest Folk YouTube videos.

A pupil at Aurora Eccles School in Quidenham enjoys the outdoors inspired by The Forest Folk YouTube videos. - Credit: Submitted

The YouTube channel features videos is mostly filmed on the school’s on site woodland.

Topics have ranged from how the seasons change, things to do in the snow to a series based on butterflies that saw them raise caterpillars.

It comes as outdoor education centres in Norfolk forced to close for almost a year hope to welcome back school trips before the summer.

The Forest Folk YouTube videos are mostly filmed in the woodlands at Aurora Eccles School in Quidenham.

The Forest Folk YouTube videos are mostly filmed in the woodlands at Aurora Eccles School in Quidenham. - Credit: Submitted

Mr Sippitt said: “The children have really taken to it especially our junior kids who have really thrived on it. We have had pupils run up to us now that they are back in school saying ‘oh YouTube sensations!’ We’re not really, but it’s great that they are really excited.”

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