It happens over time….
‘Forest Schools and Outdoor Learning in the Early Years’ – Sara Knight
“It is like creating a pathway across a field. The first walker only dents the grass. Only by subsequent feet treading the same path will the path become permanently established. Once it has been established, then even if it falls out of use, the faint trace of its existence will be visible to archaeologists hundreds of years in the future”
“- an analogy for forming neural pathways in the brain and their subsequent myelinisation.”
For the children of Hatch Ride, learning in the outdoors should be an extension of the learning in the classroom. They are given opportunities for learning ‘in’ the outdoors, using the environment as a stimulus and a space; learning ‘of’ the outdoors, including environmental science and geography and learning ‘about’ the outdoors, Knowing the names of plants and trees, a focus on bush craft skills, sustainability and creating the environment. As they build their skills and experiences throughout their school journey they will become experts and be able to see the ‘pathway’ they have created.
When the children are learning outside you will see a different level of engagement, a natural curiosity and an energy about learning which cannot always be created for all in the classroom. The links to all other areas of the curriculum when outdoors are endless and the children will often lead the direction of the learning.
In the creation of our ’21 things’, a list of all the things we feel the children should do before leaving Hatch Ride’, we wanted to place value on the simple experiences the outdoors have to offer but also recognise that not all children will have these opportunities as the pace of living gets faster. We want to find moments of fun and peace and allow the children to take ‘risks’ and experience new things.
Our outdoor learning potential makes our school special and unique. The children value our grounds and the opportunities it gives them, they speak with pride about our school environment.