We are lucky to have a fantastic Outdoor Learning site adjoining our school field and a number of trained Forest School Leaders among our staff.
Learning takes many forms in Outdoor Learning sessions. This year, we have:
- used natural found materials to create art work in the style of Andy Goldsworthy and other artists
- sawed logs using a bow saw
- studied the life cycle of frogs
- 'cooked' in mud kitchens
- hunted mini beasts
- taken bark rubbings and learnt about the different kinds of trees around us
- learnt how to tie knots..
...among many, many other things, including lots of opportunities for team building activities and developing social skills.
We have an amazing Forest School site, right next to our school field. We began using this large triangular plot some years ago with the kind invitation of the land owner, Mr Malcolm Hyde. It has a base camp with seating area, a purpose-built fire pit with additional seating area and boasts many native British woodland species. We also have access to the lower part of his land, which contains a pond he built for us: great for studying the life cycle of amphibians! There's a woodland glade with wooden toadstools, a bee hive (which can be seen from base camp) and various woodland paths. We show extra care and respect using this area, as it contains Mr Hyde's business - a tree nursery. The whole site is safely secured with perimeter fencing.
Our Outdoor Learning programme is an integral part of our curriculum, and offers so many benefits including:
- increasing children's confidence
- helping children to better understand the world around them
- learning about risk taking
- working as a team and forging relationships
- developing perseverance and resilience
- an appreciation and respect for the natural world.
All of our children benefit from Forest School or Outdoor Learning sessions at different points during the school year. Outdoor Learning sessions are run by all staff, under the guidance and support of the trained Forest School Leaders. Where our Forest School Leaders themselves run sessions, they are able to offer activities with an additional level of risk, such as using sharp tools.
See the images below, which show some of the fun we have at our Forest School site!