Posted on May 21st 2021
'Outdoor Classroom Day' for All Primary Students
Despite a gusty end to the week, the weather held for us to get out and fulfil our wish of giving the students an entire day of outdoor provision.
Outdoor Classroom Day is a global movement to make time outdoors part of every child’s day. Over ten million children have taken part in it globally from as far apart as Alaska, Nigeria and New Zealand.
From English and maths, to art and science, HGA primary students spent the day exploring our forest, pond area and hedgerows.
Time outdoors affects student’s health, wellbeing and development. Not only does it give students a better understanding of the environment and make them more likely to care for their local areas, it also enhances engagement with learning and increases physical and mental health.
We have all seen the impact that national lock-downs have had on our children and the importance of finding time to get them outdoors so they can run, jump and explore in a way they can’t do confined to the house or classroom.
Our plan though is not to stop. We’re committed to developing our Forest School provision further with more areas and activities for learning, the development of our garden and pond area, and the teaching of Forest School across the whole school.
We’re also looking to get our students not only learning outside of the classroom but out of the school with a return to trips happening in Summer Term 2. While many of these will be staying local for the short term, we hope to offer the benefits of stepping into the wider world to support the students learning.
With the weather getting better every day, I hope you also are able to spend more time enjoying the outdoor environment.
Each session today was taught outside as we looked to take our learning out into the environment. Below is a snap shot of our students learning at the hard work they have been putting in this week.
Exploring the outdoor environment, we have been on the look out for all the different minibeasts you can find in our hedgerows. As well as spotting one fox we were able to collect this data and represent it in our classes. Here is one class-inspired graph showing off the observations made in Year 5!
All our classes took to the outdoors to listen, smell and see the differences that bring the environment around us to life. This has then inspired a number of class poems which will be going up on display around the school. Here classes prepare for their poems using their senses.
Today not only offered a range of opportunities for writing, it also allowed some to sport some absolutely fantastic outdoor wear. This one of Finley’s is a personal favourite!
Design and technology
Construction and the use of materials are important aspects of our DT learning. Which structures hold together well and how can we use these to build complex shapes have been one of the more 'hands on' elements of our outdoor provision day. Suzie here is evaluating this work while thinking about the size and strength of the design.
Exploring the forests was the exciting first task of our EYFS children who when deep into the grasses and woods on their very own bear hunt! The adults shared with them stories and rhymes as well as giving them the chance to explore the different trees and vegetation.
We have been so lucky to have our Science Specialist helping us this last year to transform our outdoor spaces. A year ago we started a small Forest School and now each year group is able to enjoy time in the outdoors with a focus on exciting and engaging outdoor science.
We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without Miss so we want to send her a huge thank you for all her hard work!
Mr Ben Sheppard
Head of Primary