Outdoor Learning and
Forest School

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Outdoor Learning a regular part of our daily teaching here at St. Mary’s. Our children have access to a great variety of outdoor space. Literacy, Numeracy, Health and Wellbeing, Science and Technology, Humanities, RE and Expressive Arts lessons are all delivered utilising our outdoor classroom.

At St. Mary’s we strongly believe that taking the curriculum outdoors can have a considerably beneficial impact on the learning and development of our pupils. From enhancing problems solving skills to communication and resilience, outdoor learning provides endless opportunities for exploration, experimentation and contextual learning.

At St Mary’s RC Primary School we strive to provide opportunities for children to gain access to a natural environment where they are able to explore and investigate. We want our children to develop confidence, self-esteem, creativity, empathy, communication and life skills within the outdoor environment. When taking part in Forest School activities the children are involved in a process of learning that is more about the “how” than the “what”. During this process children are able to express a healthy range of emotions through all the challenges of social interaction.  


 

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At St Mary’s we are lucky to have a wonderful forest school area which provides a safe, nurturing and engaging learning environment. It is in this environment that the children are able to learn about the wonders of God’s creation. They witness the changing of the seasons and they develop a deep respect and awareness for the natural world. Children and adults are encouraged to promote respect for wildlife and be aware of conservation issues of the

woodland around them. 

The aim of this policy is to provide an insight into the ethos of Forest School as operated at St Mary’s. Forest School builds on a child’s innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to take risk, make choices and initiate learning for themselves. 

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Our Forest School learning environment provides opportunities for children to:  

·      Develop self-esteem 

·      Develop self-confidence  

·      Form positive relationships with others  

·      Develop a growing awareness of their emotional needs and the needs of others  

·      Learn to cooperate and work with their peers and adults  

·      Develop strategies in order to take risks within the boundaries of safety.  

·      Learn specific skills which link into the curriculum 

·      Develop knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and a forest environment 

·      Develop well-being and collaborative skills  

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