Learning experiences are not just confined to the classroom. Our academic staff recognise the benefits of practical learning outside the four walls of the classroom and often extend their teaching outdoors.
Our Nursery and Reception pupils split their Outdoor Learning between forest school at the Ernest Cook site in Fairford and our own lovely facilities. Year 1 have regular forest school sessions which include learning to use tools, building a mini beast hotel and they study pond life. Year 2 learn how to track animals, study the school trees and take part in outdoor activities linked to their class topics.
Every year the entire school takes part in a Green Day where pupils spend a day focusing on a global environmental issue and see how their actions can influence the future. Recent Green Day topics have included food sustainability, trees, water and bees.
Pupils are inspired by and taught in the great outdoors, making good use of our unique environment. We have an exceptional conservation area at our disposal, boasting its own pond, wildlife, forest classroom, wild meadow, willow arch, footpath and wild flowers. It is used across the curriculum and enables teachers to be more hands-on in their lessons. The children grow plants and flowers, fruit and vegetables in our gardens and polytunnel. The produce is then delivered to the kitchen so our chef can make them into a tasty salad or dish. Our Pre-Prep children also have much fun visiting our chickens and collecting the eggs!
My favourite moment was when we mixed hot chocolate outside in a big pot when we did our Mexican project.Year 2 Pupil
Pupils can also enjoy the outdoors in other settings and a number of year groups experience the pleasure of an overnight stay throughout the year:
- Year 4, overnight stay in Ross on Wye Youth Hostel taking part in a series of team-building activities
- Year 5, two day Bush craft survival experience including sleeping under canvas, camouflage, fire lighting and trap setting
- Year 6, a night under the stars in the school grounds, learning how to set up a camp
- Year 8, a week-long outdoor and adventure trip to Knapp House, Devon, developing a variety of physical and social skills and creating lasting memories to take into their future.