Our Outdoor Curriculum
Nature is amazing! We have wonderful school grounds and as a school we endeavour to make the best learning experiences for our children. We encourage all children in the infants to explore, investigate and to love nature.
In Reception, we firstly show them around the grounds to develop an understanding of keeping ourselves safe. We make pretend bonfires, we look at the colour changes in the autumn, at Christmas we decorate an outside Christmas tree. We follow trails, make bird’s nests, go on imaginative story adventures and dig and weed in raised beds. Pond dipping is always loved and is repeated in Yr 1 and 2 when further more detailed scientific observations are made of the invertebrates. All of these activities are possible because we ask parents to bring in wellies and waterproofs. We do go out in nearly all weathers!!
Yr 1 and Yr 2 continue having outdoor learning activities that can develop into all areas of the curriculum. We go on invertebrate hunts, learn about a variety of animals through outside games, observe species of birds for the RSPB, make animal homes and learning about habitats. The children love orienteering and work with a partner to support each other. We make story maps and maps of the grounds. Some of the outdoor play activities are ones which children could continue at home, at the park or the beach. Such as making pictures out of natural materials, making farmyards out of stones, making mud hedgehogs or putting up tents.
We value the outdoors and so do the children, there is always a buzz about what we are going to be learning about. Many of our lessons take new tangents, from teacher plans, when a child makes an observation e.g. “I can see a dragon in the clouds”, we would take this as a learning opportunity. Another example would be, “There is a dinosaur print in the mud”, and this could lead into a big story adventure searching for more clues. We take advantage of unusual weather opportunities, so when it snows we go out and make snow-castles, when it’s raining we may look at concentric circle patterns in puddles.
Key stage 2 are now enjoying regular outdoor sessions and these have included pond dipping, problem solving and team building activities.
Year 4 children designed elf houses to replace their homes that have been destroyed in a storm, as part of science week.
We hope that our children will always be happy, motivated in the outdoors as they are now and that they will always love nature and having adventures.