CHILDREN at Cutteslowe Primary School built a willow dome as part of their new “forest school”.

The new section of the school – designed to encourage children to learn outdoors – was introduced late last year after it underwent £2.5m of improvements.

Elaine and Ganesh Kings of Creative Willow came to help children build the dome.

Year 2 pupil Aisha Jackson said: “We stuck all the willow in the ground and we made willow pencils to take back to class.”

Forest school co-ordinator Ysella Wood said: “Every child in the school was involved in some way and they love playing in there.

“As the willow grows we can use it to do more crafting. It’s great and the kids were really chuffed with it.

“The aim of projects like this and the forest school is to get them outside a bit more often and teach them about nature. It also helps build confidence.”

West Sussex-based Elaine and Ganesh Kings, who own Creative Willow, visited the school to help the construction of the willow dome, which began in late March.

Mrs Kings said: “We have done lots of willow domes with schools because there is a huge range of ways you can tie it into the curriculum.

“We do them at this time of year because willows are seasonal and can only be planted between November and mid-April.

“They are great for nature watching and also generally provide shady spots for kids.”