In the Prep school, we are continuing to expand our programme of Outdoor Learning activities. All the staff have had training in how to use the outdoors to enhance the curriculum and four members of staff – Sue Shelbourne, Julie Aldridge, Sarah Watson and Jane Wilder are having additional training from the Forest School in Exeter.
All the children will have a whole morning this term, using the outdoors to meet learning objectives for their year group as well as learning bush craft skills.
Year Six have recently spent a morning in the woods where they first of all built a base camp with a camp fire. They took over tarpaulins to use as shelters but in fact the weather was glorious. The children used the woods to make music which they recorded. They used mirrors to reflect the view high into the trees and did some beautiful art work with this.
They cooked their own snacks over the open fire and learnt how to keep themselves safe both in the woods and near the fire. Most importantly they had enormous fun, as did the staff. They used their senses of sight, hearing, touch and smell to explore nature and all were given opportunities to be loud and messy and boisterous!
Years Three, Four and Five will have their mornings before half term and with the weather changing it is now even more important that they have warm outdoor clothes for those mornings to include a waterproof coat, waterproof trousers if possible and wellington boots.
In addition to whole mornings or even full days enjoying the outdoors, all staff are constantly looking for opportunities to use the outdoors during lessons, whether for foraging in FT, using the environment as a stimulus in English or Art or using the Teamwork, Leadership and Challenge activities (TLC) in Maths. The Hub is now in almost constant use and the children love using it at playtimes also.
Bushcraft clubs for Years Three and Four and for Years Five and Six take place on Tuesdays and Fridays. The children in these clubs have great fun and a lot of freedom while learning basic bush craft skills. They also get the opportunity of using the TLC.