Getting Closer to Nature at Moors Valley

3 October 2022

Children from Stroud School, King Edward VI Preparatory, in Romsey enjoyed a trip to Moors Valley Country Park, as part of the School’s Mentoring Scheme.

The Year 3 and Year 8 Mates scheme kicked off with an exciting adventure to Forestry England’s Moors Valley, where the children enjoyed a range of activities and the opportunity to spend time with each other. The outing included exploring the play trails, eating picnic lunches, enjoying the Tree Top Trail in complete silence to enjoy the sounds of nature, and finishing off with a play on the adventure playground - enjoyed by the older children as much as the youngsters!

Founded in 2016, the Mates Mentoring Scheme offers the chance for the School’s older children to develop their leadership skills, while the younger children are supported in their transition to the prep school. As a school, Stroud tries to bring its community together as much as possible and the introduction of the Mates scheme, now in its seventh year, has provided a structured support network between its youngest and oldest school children. An unexpected bonus of the scheme has been how it has brought staff together. The scheme unites Middle School and Senior School teachers to plan events, go on trips and work with colleagues they may not usually have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with. Uniting staff across the departments has forged new relationships and encouraged more collaboration. 

One of the challenges the scheme has faced is helping the youngsters feel that the senior children are there to help and someone to approach if they’re in need, rather than a big, scary ogre to be avoided at all costs! Equally, the School wanted the older children to take time to notice the Middle School children and recognise the huge impact they have on them, often without realising it. Explaining to them that they’re setting the example and being noticed, whether they intend to or not, is actually quite eye-opening for a 12 year old.

Discussions in year groups before the mates meet is really important to set the tone: encouraging Year 3s to be open and receptive to their new friends, and helping Year 8 to overcome their own awkwardness and anxieties with ‘getting it right’, is crucial. Discussions with form tutors about topics of conversation, ways of interacting and how to bring themselves to the other’s level (often literally!) is also really effective.

Our popular Wednesday morning events take place throughout the term and are an excellent way to visit the school, meet our staff and children and explore our facilities and extensive grounds. Our Registrar, Miss Harrington, would be delighted to guide you through our admissions process or answer any questions. Miss Harrington is contactable on 01794 528360, or email