Forest School and Outdoor Learning
At St Oswald's we are blessed with amazing outdoor spaces. Our pond, meadow,nature area, orchard, outdoor theatre, story-telling twigloo, log circles, greenhouse,poly tunnel and planting area are just some of the outdoor spaces we use to enhance our learning experiences. We are also developing a fire pit area. We have an outdoor classroom called The Lodge which houses our wellies, some equipment and we can work in there if we need a bit of shelter!
Every pupil develops a real passion for the outdoors and celebrates their local, natural environment. We intend that every child develops a knowledge of and a passion for their local habitat, nurturing it with care. We also aim for all our children to embrace the physical and personal challenges that working outside will present. We have a fully qualified Level 3 Forest School leader at St Oswald's.
Through outdoor learning we aim to support this philosophy by
- Fostering the enjoyment of the outdoors
- Embrace physical challenges
- Develop fine and gross motor skills
- Develop personal and social skills
- Develop a range of skills such as knot tying, shelter building, fire lighting, lashing, weaving
- Develop a knowledge of local flora and fauna
- Fostering an awareness of seasonal change
- Encouraging children to take risks in a supported, safe environment
- Using our outdoor spaces to contextualise leaning across the curriculum
- Ensuring learning is matched to the differing needs of all children as well as specific groups such as Pupil Premium etc.
- Encouraging children to be active and have a healthy lifestyle
- Ensuring children develop an understanding of keeping safe
- Developing problem solving and resilience through practical tasks
- Encouraging pupils’ personal involvement enabling them to improve their attention span, persistence and commitment
All children participate in outdoor learning and some children ,currently mixed groups of Year 1 and 2 children participate in Forest School Sessions when there are two adults present. Activities and sessions happen whatever the weather except for strong winds or heavy snow due to safety. Regular training of teaching and non-teaching staff allows all the children to receive a high quality session and ensures all staff understand the potential learning opportunities the outdoors has to offer. Adult led tasks may involve the teaching and application of practical skills. There will also be child led tasks which will support personal, social and emotional learning or demonstrate the independent application of prior teaching and learning.
Children will develop their skills in
- problem solving
- working in a team
- shelter building,fire lighting,cooking,knot tying,lashing, weaving
- fine and gross motor movement
Children will develop their knowledge and understanding of
- being active and healthy
- being safe
- seasonal change
- local flora and fauna
- how outdoor learning links with other learning in the classroom
Children will develop their attitudes including
- being resilient
- being self reliant
- being self confident
- taking a risk
Children at St Oswald's will have the opportunity to access our outdoor spaces to enhance all areas of our curriculum. Have a look at our galleries below to see our outdoor learning and Forest School sessions in action.
Years 1 and 2 Outdoor Learning-An Icy Week