Outdoor Learning is part of the curriculum for all of our children, from Nursery through to Year 6.
Nursery have an outdoor session every day, from 9-10 am.
Key Stage 1 children have an outdoor learning session every week; see your child’s class timetable for details.
Key Stage 2 children have a whole afternoon session every other week; see your child’s class timetable for details.
Outdoor Learning is designed to complement and support our academic learning here at Mill Lane. The children take part in child-led, age appropriate outdoor activities that help them develop skills that are linked to our school-wide ‘Green Behaviours’ policy. These skills include responsibility, teamwork, communication, independence and resilience as well as the respect, honesty and consideration that we expect at all times.
Activities are led by Mr Ball, who is an experienced primary school teacher, Forest School Level 3 leader and ex-outdoor-pursuits instructor. He is supported by Mrs Frost, an experienced Teaching Assistant and expert gardener. Activities include den building, fire lighting, tool work, plant identification, playing in our mud kitchen, gardening and lots more.
The sessions take place in our garden, on our field, in our wildlife area and will shortly move to our brand new Outdoor Learning Hub at the end of our field. We have lots of plans for exciting new developments including a poly-tunnel to help our gardening, an outdoor kitchen, a new fire-pit area, new raised beds, planting an orchard and even some chickens.
For the children to get the most from Outdoor Learning they need to be properly dressed for the conditions. There is no bad weather, just bad clothes! Old clothes are ideal for getting dirty in, waterproofs are needed for rainy days, wellies keep feet dry and woolly hats, gloves, sunhats and sun cream are needed during the relevant weather. The school sells waterproof trousers and jackets – just ask Mrs Woodward at the office. If you have any questions about clothing or Outdoor Learning, come and ask Mr Ball.
Spring Term 2017
As spring has bloomed we have started to do much more gardening. Every class has, or will, plant some sunflowers to take home and we have also started planting out lots of our raised beds. We have carrots, beetroot, onions, spinach and more planted – although the squirrels are eating lots of it as soon as we plant it! Our bean den is on the way too.
We have been enjoying watching our wildlife area change and have talked about what plants need to grow. We have also talked about what blossom does for a plant and how that happens. We now have lots of baby cherries after the beautiful blossoming period.
We have also received lots of new equipment and some of the older classes have enjoyed helping to build wheelbarrows, workbenches and shave horses. We are looking forward to using these more and more over the coming weeks.
We are still waiting for the grass to grow on our field before starting to move our learning down to the new Outdoor Learning Hub at the end of the field – it’s an exciting time with lots more news to come.