All children at TCS Mill Lane have Outdoor Learning lessons every week.
Nursery children have a session every day, from 9 – 10.
All other classes alternate between a morning and afternoon session. See the attached timetable for details of when these sessions are for each class.
Outdoor Learning sessions are led by Mr Jonathan Ball, an experienced class teacher, forest school leader and ex-outdoor pursuit’s instructor. He is supported by Mrs Maggie Frost, an experienced teaching assistant and expert gardener. Nursery sessions are also supported by the nursery staff. The sessions take place at our new, purpose-built outdoor learning hub, in our garden, in our woodland area and on our field.
Activities are child-led, child centred and age appropriate. They may include gardening, fire lighting, camp fire cooking, mud play, Forest School activities, shelter building, obstacle courses, slack-line walking, plant or creature identification, kite flying, games – and anything else that we or the children think of!
Older children (year 2 and up) can choose to work on a craft project and from Year 1 can choose activities to attain bronze, silver or gold Outdoor Learning awards.
Younger children enjoy the outdoor space, the freedom and the chance to explore their environment in their own way.
We try to invite parents in to join in with their children’s activities at least once a year for each class.
The sessions are not linked to the curriculum but instead focus on our school’s Green Behaviours.
Responsibility, Resilience, Teamwork, Communication, Independence, Leadership, Respect, Curiosity, Consideration and Honesty.
We link activities explicitly to these behaviours and have lots of discussions about what behaviours we showed to achieve what we have and which we could use to do even better next time.
The sessions take place all year, whatever the weather. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!
Outdoor Learning kit should be in school each week for the sessions. Children who don’t have the appropriate kit have a restricted choice of activities, especially when the weather is cold, wet or muddy.
For children to get the most from their sessions, they should have:
- A set of old clothes (including a jumper and or a warm coat) that can get dirty and muddy.
- A waterproof coat and trousers to go over these for when it is very wet.
- Wellies or waterproof walking boot. NO OLD TRAINERS AS THESE ARE NOT WATERPROOF.
If you have any questions or would like to see our facilities, please get in touch with Mr Ball through the school office.