This is the best kind of classroom,
It's a journey through time and space,
From the smallest seed to the largest tree,
This is a forest and a learning place.
This is the best kind of classroom ,
Where seasons don't happen in books.
Where the learning is watching and thinking and talking
And everyone notices, everyone looks.
From 'The Best Kind of Classroom' by Ian MacMillan
The outdoors is a calm and ever changeable environment that our pupils respond to in a positive way and see their learning in a different light; in a more practical, hands-on and self-led way. When our pupils take their learning outside the classroom, they are inspired, enthused and empowered. We aim to take advantage of this and provide as many opportunities to teach our curriculum outside whilst giving pupils an awareness of environmental issues and sustainability.
Within our Forest School sessions, pupils are encouraged to climb trees, build shelters, slide and jump in the mud, balance on icy log piles and use small tools such as secateurs. In giving them these opportunities within a controlled and safe environment, our pupils develop early risk management strategies that ensure they start to consider the impact of their actions on themselves and on others.
Our Outdoor Areas.
Over the past few years we have been developing our Outdoor Learning facilities. Our specifically designed Forest School shed provides a changing area and shelter from the blustery winds and rain as we prepare to go down to our Forest School in our wellingtons and waterproofs. Tucked away at the bottom of our school grounds is a hidden wild wonderland that is our Forest School. Its ever changing foliage and pond never fails to intrigue and excite our pupils. Our expanding allotment area gives us the chance to harvest an array of vegetables and fruits that we use for our school dinners and in our cooking and baking. Pupils are always amazed as vegetables sprout up from the ground so easily and quickly! It truly brings to light how easy sustainable living can be. Our gazebo gives us a chance to sit and investigate the food we grow, watch wildlife, listen to a story or just simply read a book. Our wild herb garden is a peaceful area where pupils can take in the aromas, textures and colours of a wide range of plants as they sit on benches and reflect upon their learning.
Our next project is an orchard that will provide our school and local community with a variety of fruits. Our hopes are that one day, we can harvest fruit to bake, store and use to develop our understanding of sustainable living further. We are also currently developing science and maths outdoor areas.