” At St James we strongly believe in the importance of learning outside. We have a huge amount of space and over the last 2 years we have developed a ‘forest school’ offer and are developing a curriculum for learning outside. On a weekly basis we work alongside Phil Lowde, an outdoor specialist, (http://bearandlapor.co.uk/index.php) who supports our curriculum and has supported pupils and staff with effective CPD.
We have committed to the following:
1. All year groups have a half term outside on a Monday afternoon.
2. Hook and enrichment days where appropriate to support the curriculum
3. Parent support group who have developed an outdoor growing area.
4.Maths outside curriculum groups running on a morning.
We are committed to making effective use of our outside grounds and through the support of Phil and our commitment to a curriculum designed for our children we have been able to create some great outcomes.
Learning outside is a great way for our pupils to learn new skills whilst at the same time learning how to apply these across the curriculum. For example in Year 5 they have been learning about pulleys and levers as engineers in science and Phil has supported this work using our Nature Reserve.
To support this all year groups from Reception to Year 6 have visited Nell Bank in 2018 and 2019 and next year we are planning a collaboration to combine a local geography area study and for Nell Bank to come to out site to support our work- a really exciting adventure and opportunity. If you look below you can see the letter they sent to us linked to our visits!
Moving forward we are now looking at:
1. Opportunities to develop maths outside
2. Opportunities to develop science outside.
Through their help and the support of Santander we have been able to construct an area that is accessible for the children. Keep an eye out as this site gets more developed due to community support. Keep Moat are working with us currently to develop our Nature Reserve!
“Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.” ~ Antoni Gaudi
As a church school this work also consolidates and reinforces our core values of community, peace, respect, forgiveness, trust and courage.
We are so proud of our school community and our commitment and enthusiasm toward Outdoor Learning- this is reflected in this wonderful feedback we received.Nell Bank