We love outdoor learning at St.Mary’s. Children benefit from a weekly Forest School session, as we place the highest value on being outdoors at every opportunity. For many children, they are placed back into their ‘natural learning environment’ when outdoors. All of the children at St.Mary’s reap the benefits from their time outdoors: socially, emotionally and psychologically. In our ‘screen-time’ and ‘risk-averse’ society, spending so much time outdoors equips our children to be well-rounded, healthy and alert learners.
St.Mary’s has wonderful outdoor spaces; at the front of the school, on the play areas, in our dedicated forest school space and on our large school field. Forest School provides a higher than usual adult to child ratio and works on the premise of positive relationships and tasks that build self-esteem and confidence. Part of our uniform is special wet weather gear so that children are able to explore safely.
All children learn how to safely build fires and dens both on site where we have a dedicated Forest School area, cover and fire pit. They also use tools appropriate to their age and learn about the natural environment and how to look after it. Across the school all class teachers plan to include valuable outdoors experiences linked to the National Curriculum expectations but also to interest and enthuse the children.