Statement of Intent for Outdoor Learning
At Kingsley School we are incredibly lucky to have a lovely forest and garden area where we run regular outdoor lessons for children throughout the school. These regular sessions will increase children’s life skills and experiences throughout their primary school years.
Below are just some of the areas developed when working outdoors
- Self-esteem & self belief
- Improve social skills
- Assist in peer relationship building
- Assist language & communication skills
- Provide cross-curriculum learning opportunities
- Provide the connection between theory and “the real world”
- Provide a more natural environment (classroom without walls)
- Promote independence
- Promote team working
- Enable the learning of new skills
- Enhance fine motor skills
- Improve Mental health and wellbeing
- Enable children to develop a respect for, and appreciation of the natural environment and wildlife.
These areas will be covered with a variety of outdoor learning opportunities that not only seek to aid the children in their learning but also provide positive, enjoyable, creative experiences. These experiences often link to classroom work but also allow them to transfer the skills and knowledge from their outdoor lessons into the classroom and life outside of school.
Outdoor learning is planned to enrich and enhance the children’s in-school learning experiences.
Children from Nursery to Year 1 visit the forest or garden on a weekly basis throughout the year, experiencing the seasonal change in these areas and taking part in lessons often linked to the seasons and the changes taking place around them.
Children in Year 2 will spend a term coming out on a weekly basis linked to their Science topic and Key Stage 2 children will spend a half term each year working in the forest linked to their curriculum topics.
Key Stage 2 pupils are offered the opportunity to join Forest School after school club. Forest School provides a more holistic way of learning. Due to its child led nature and focus on social development, Forest School engages children in a manner that is hard to imitate in the classroom. This creates new opportunities for learning and development that might not be accessed during regular day-to-day schooling. As a part of Forest School after school club, Key Stage 2 children will also be given a chance to develop skills such as building and lighting fires, using tools such as saws and loppers, building dens, making up games and working to improve and develop our forest area.
Key Stage 2 children also have the opportunity to join Eco Club, which helps to develop strategies to improve the environmental awareness and sustainability of the school and local community. At this club, children will take part in bird counts, scientific surveys, litter picks, bulb planting and seed sowing, planting and taking care of the garden and school grounds as well as promoting green issues, recycling and sustainable lifestyles throughout the school.
By the time children leave our school they will:
- Have enjoyed hands on experiences learning outdoors which will add to their understanding and learning of a wide variety of curriculum areas
- Have developed imagination and creativity through exploration of the outdoors
- Have developed resilience through challenging activities and working in all weathers
- Have developed co-operation skills through team work
- Have an understanding of nature, the world around us, growing plants and vegetables
- Have contributed to the development of our forest and school grounds and looked after the world around them
Children are encouraged to dress appropriately for the season when coming to the forest and keep wellies in school. However the school does have a number of sets of waterproofs and wellies we offer to the children if necessary.
Eco-Schools is an international environmental education programme and is managed in England by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the anti-litter campaign for England.
The Eco-Schools programme provides a unique opportunity that empowers pupils to lead change within their school and have a positive impact in their wider community. The programme encourages pupils of all ages and abilities to work together to develop their knowledge and environmental awareness. (Eco Schools Website)
Schools address these ten environmental themes:-
Pupils are important in forming and helping to lead an Eco-Committee which will carry out an audit to assess the environmental performance of the school.
Kingsley Eco Club takes place on Thursdays after school in the Eco Pod and is open to all KS2 pupils. Children help to make up and deliver assemblies about waste and saving energy. They also come up with ideas of what the school needs to address next. Over the last few years the Eco club and committee have been involved in developing our class recycling (including a trip to the Viola Recycling Centre last July), setting up battery, crisp bag and pen recycling drop offs at school, composting fruit waste, keeping the grounds clear by regular litter picks, watering and planting in the garden, making bird feeders, posters and much more!
To find out more about Eco Schools, go to www.eco-schools.org.uk
During the spring of 2018 The Liverpool Biennial Festival of Contemporary Art worked in collaboration with Kingsley School to produce a large piece of living artwork in the forest area. The artist, Mohamed Bourouissa along with his team, installed the piece, Resilience Garden then worked with children throughout the school to enhance it. The younger children kept and still keep all of the plants well watered throughout the year. For more information about this event and the artist click on, or paste the link below.
To look at photographs of how the piece was built and developed check out the gallery below.