At Harlands School we aim is to give the children the privilege to explore, enjoy about nature and through that discovery learn about themselves and their own limitless potential.
To develop a love of the outdoors and nature as a place that we can help and contribute to, and also how it helps and contributes to our overall wellbeing.
Through experimentation and ‘play’ we learn to push our own boundaries, manage our fears and learn perseverance.
Through planned experiences working with others we teach the skills of: speaking and listening, compromise, self-awareness and teamwork.
Through our outdoor learning we are becoming responsible citizens of the world, learning how to look after and nurture our own environment and through this we can apply these skills to wider world.
We are lucky enough to have the resource of our school grounds and surrounding woodland. We are constantly looking at ways we can improve our resources including raised beds, building a natural pond area and insect friendly planting around the school.
In Key Stage 1 three afternoons a week have been allocated for outdoor learning. Small groups from Year 1 and Year 2 are chosen to participate in outdoor activities once a week, these are designed to promote self-esteem, positive self-image and speaking and listening skills.
Throughout the school there is support and encouragement of whole class outdoor learning and activities such as nature treasure hunts, tree identification and teamwork challenges. Some of this is co-curricular, some focuses on the children and their wellbeing - as educating the whole child helps us to ensure that our school leavers will be happy, active citizens.
We are also lucky enough to provide outdoor clubs such as gardening and eco-club. Again, these clubs bridge academic objects with ‘real life’ opportunities to make a difference and feel empowered through the experience.
All the skills promoted through outdoor learning such as:
- a sense of wellbeing
- a sense of self
- having a voice / the ability to be heard
- a thirst for knowing about the world we live in and for learning more
- enthusiasm and the ability to look for positives
…which are all transferable to a classroom setting.
Once a child has learnt that making mistakes is the beginning of the learning journey, no academic problem is unsolvable.
Once a child has found an interest about the world, this thirst for knowledge and understanding can be transferred to other curriculum subjects.
Once a child has found their voice and their empathy when working within a team, they can facilitate and support group work in an atmosphere of co-operation and productivity.
Updated April 2022