Curriculum Based Outdoor Education
For some schools, and community groups, their desires for outdoor learning is more suited to Outdoor Education than true Forest School. This alternative involves less child-led play but enables us to meet your teaching and learning objectives in an outdoor setting. We plan, equip and teach curriculum focused sessions (such as in Maths, English, Science, History and Geography) in your outdoor space. This is a welcome break for many children and staff who do not learn best from being inside all day. For many, it gets your messages across in a way that is more accessible to their learning needs.
Curriculum based sessions
These are examples of some of our activities, contact us to find out more or get in touch to see what we can tailor to suit your needs and challenges.
Early Years and Key Stage 1
Explore the Great Outdoors…
What can we find? What can we create?
Activities full of wonder and discovery, exploring an outdoor setting with eyes like a bird and ears like bat! Get involved in activities, crafts and storytelling.
Numbers and letters
Test their retention, see what they can apply from the classroom in real-world settings. Explore numbers and letters through interactive games and activities in an outdoor environment.
Key Stage 1 and 2
Not just Living History but bringing history to life! Step back in time into a previous land, the Stone Age and beyond! Learn how our ancestors cooked, built, crafted and lived through fire building crafts, hunting and archery.
Depending on how far you step back our activities include: fire making, bread making, clay pot making and decorating, cave paintings, building weapons, tracking and hunting.
Key Stage 2, 3 and 4
“Are you tough enough?”
Age appropriate activities for the older students! Develop their team building, negotiation, communication, leadership and problem solving skills through our fun and engaging activities!
"Seeing my class in Hannah's sessions makes me so proud, I see a side of them I don't see in the classroom- the way they work together, overcome disputes by themselves and the most reserved inside become the most explorative outside. I have learnt so much about them and it helps me plan my lessons to suit them better".
Teacher, Bromley Hills Primary School
Other benefits to taking your lessons outside...
Nature leaders – Through play and learning we inspire children to appreciate and respect their environment so they don’t lose connection with the natural world. We create natural green leaders!
Social and leadership skills – children are provided with opportunities to develop social and leadership skills through teamwork, play and problem-solving activities. Even the simplest den building activity provides children with the chance to build social relationships with others and improve leadership skills.
Self-esteem and confidence – children have the freedom to create their own play and learning opportunities which helps to increase self-esteem and independence.
Physical – the woodland environment allows children to be more active; developing active, healthy habits, improving gross motor skills and practising fine motor skills through creative activities.
Fitness- learning outside is a way of engaging in physical activity and provides an alternative to sports to push the body and get moving, often without even realising it.
Linguistic – the freedom to explore the environment empowers children to think independently, it provokes curiosity and improves their written and spoken language skills.
Cognitive – children are given many opportunities for active learning; questioning, offering choice and empowering them to problem solve by themselves all promote cognitive development.
Risk-taking – appropriate risk-taking during play allows children to improve motor skills, balance and coordination, and gain confidence in being physically active. It is so important for children to take reasonable risks so that they respect their environment and learn to safely play within it.
Skills and knowledge – children have the opportunity to learn about the wild world, learn new skills and to become confident in the natural world.
Fun learning – most of all children are learning and having fun through self-directed play! Children love being in the outdoors and play is a hugely important part of their development.
How does it fit with Ofsted?
The New Common Inspection Framework covers four key areas.
Two of which are:
Personal development, behaviour and welfare
Outcomes for children and learners
From 2019 your school can now be recognised for how the curriculum provides opportunities for personal development independently of the way you deal with behaviour and pupil attitudes to learning, unlike in previous years. We help you provide evidence for these new areas of the Framework by using Forest School to provide personal development opportunities and work on the outcomes for children as individuals.
The October 2018 report on 'Obesity, healthy eating and physical activity in primary school' concluded that schools should focus on improving the things they are best placed to do, such as:
providing ample opportunity for children to take physical exercise during the school day – with lots of opportunities to ‘get out of breath’
If you would like to measure the progress of the children and young people on these programmes we can gather essential baseline information such as confidence, behaviour, academic ability, relationships with others, and reassess these capabilities at the end.
"The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardise education, but to personalise it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”
— Sir Ken Robinson