Outdoor Learning and Forest School
Outdoor learning is very important to us at St George's because we all know and recognise the importance and power of 'learning through doing'. Using the amazing and wonderful outdoor facilities on our doorstep, here in the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, provides us with a unique opportunity to allow children to "live learning; love learning'' beyond the classroom.
We currently have Forest School sessions provided by Primary Forest School. They run a lunchtime club, a class session in the afternoon and an after-school club. Every class has access to 2 blocks of Forest School this academic year (1 block = 6 afternoon sessions).
We also have Miss Bower, who is our fully-qualified Forest School Leader, and she runs class and group sessions.
Recent studies have highlighted some of the many benefits of outdoor learning for young children:
- higher levels of conversational language
- greater independence
- improved health and sleeping patterns
- greater physical competence and agility
- improved time focus on activities and more concentration
- a greater understanding of nature and the environment
- improved social skills, involvement and initiative
So, at St George's, we take every opportunity to reinforce and complement our classroom teaching with outdoor learning. And that makes wellies, fleeces and coats a regular part of the day here at St George's !!
We go out into the local environment and look at and listen to nature. Through this the children are learning to identify birds and their songs, insects, flowers, trees, berries and the produce that people are growing on the allotments.
We make sure our children experience our local natural beauty spots and have a fabulous time on the beach, or in the woods and in the bird hides looking through our binoculars!
'Outdoor Classroom' Day
Twice yearly (in November and May), we celebrate National 'Outdoor Classroom' day where all the children spend the day outside, learning outdoors and completing a range of different activities that include building shelters, making art with nature and exploring maths in the natural environment.