At Moorlands, we are very fortunate to have so much space to explore, including two woodland areas, open fields and even our very own outdoor classroom – the tipi!
Throughout the year, each class takes part in a weekly outdoor learning session, exploring and learning through nature as the seasons change. Sessions are guided by the changing seasons, National Curriculum links, the interests of the children, the weather and national initiatives and events. For example, during the autumn term, we explore the changing seasons by making crafts and artwork from autumn leaves and by looking at how animals prepare for winter through creating food stores and hibernating. We also link our activities to national events including recycling week, Guy Fawkes night, Diwali, National Tree Week and Christmas.
During the spring term, we learn about birds and how to help them during the winter by making bird feeders, in preparation for carrying out the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch, and also look for early signs of spring. Sessions are also linked to World Book Day, by bringing books to life in the outdoor environment, the spring equinox and Easter.
There are many benefits to learning outdoors. It can help children to develop their self-esteem, cooperation skills, creativity, and appreciation and knowledge of the natural environment. Being outdoors often provides one of the most memorable learning experiences and helps children to make sense of the world around them by putting their learning into context. It also teaches them that there is fun to be had outdoors, whatever the weather!
Sessions are led by our HLTA, Sadie Rhodes, who is a qualified primary teacher and Forest School Leader. Sadie previously worked in environmental education centres and schools, delivering outdoor learning and Forest School.
Possible future outdoor projects include – renovating the school pond; establishing a wild flower meadow; building raised beds for each class for vegetable growing and keeping chickens!