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Ipswich: Education minister Elizabeth Truss stays clean during ‘forest’ visit

PUBLISHED: 18:12 11 April 2014 | UPDATED: 18:12 11 April 2014

Karen Abram, manager of Quayside Nursery, gave Elizabeth Truss MP a tour of the nursery's Forest School on Friday, 11 April.

Karen Abram, manager of Quayside Nursery, gave Elizabeth Truss MP a tour of the nursery's Forest School on Friday, 11 April.

Education minister Elizabeth Truss managed to dodge the mud and dust as she watched youngsters having some good dirty fun during a visit to Ipswich.

Ms Truss was visiting the Forest School at the Quayside Nursery next to Suffolk New College.

The outdoor area gives pre-school children – and those up to the age of nine during school holidays – the chance to get a taste of the outdoor life.

They are encouraged to build dens, look for bugs, create mud pies, and generally make as much mess as possible as they learn about the outside world.

She also visited the nursery itself and the Quayside Children’s Centre during a day of visits in the town which also included a trip to the Buttons and Bows centre on Chantry and the Ormiston Centre on Felixstowe Road.

Ms Truss was impressed by what she saw at the Forest School. She said: “I think it is very important to encourage
children to get out and explore.

“I used to love getting out there and finding out about the outdoors. It’s great to get children away from the screens,” she said.

Pre-school education came under the spotlight last week when Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said many nurseries and childminders were not doing enough to prepare young 
children for life in primary schools.

Ms Truss said: “It is important that children should learn in an appropriate way so they can count and put sentences together.

“That can come from things like singing songs or counting things at the Forest School. It can be part of their normal play at nursery.”

She said it was important to encourage parents from all backgrounds to send children to pre-school. It was a message that was getting through – across the country about 96% of four year olds are in the education system – including a significant proportion of children from low-income homes.

But the youngsters at the Forest School probably didn’t realise they were being educated – they were having too much fun among the trees and bushes while they learned about outdoor life.

1 comment

  • A Conservative with a clean record and not involved in mud slinging - how refreshing.

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    Citizen

    Friday, April 11, 2014

Khalid Masood, 52, was shot dead by police after mowing down pedestrians in a car on Westminster Bridge and stabbing to death Pc Keith Palmer in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament yesterday.

As the family of Westminster hero Pc Keith Palmer paid their tribute to him, the sister of the last Suffolk officer to die in the line of duty gave an insight into their long road ahead.

The leisure centre in Crown Street was closed for around an hour this morning after police were called to reports of two men behaving suspiciously inside.

Shopping in Ipswich is to get a welcome boost over the next few months as new stores open in the town centre.

A 62-year-old shoplifter has been given a 12-month conditional discharge after stealing groceries worth nearly £11.

An Ipswich man branded a ‘predator’ has been found guilty of trying to rape a woman as she waited for a train at a deserted Suffolk railway station.

An Ipswich man has been given a suspended sentence after frightening children with an imitation handgun.

A sinkhole measuring 6ft wide and 4ft deep trapped a car while a burst water main left a road “crumbling away” in Holbrook.

Youngsters at St Helen’s Primary School in Ipswich are preparing for their first performance outside of school with a special two-date show at DanceEast.

A steam engine making its way to the North Norfolk Railway is travelling through the region now.

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