Learning Outside the Classroom
At Holbrook Primary we are very lucky to have such beautiful grounds. We have a conservation area which is a wooded area with a stream, pond and a fire circle. The children love exploring this area, looking at habitats, searching for wildlife, pond dipping, and much more!
We also have a beautiful Mindfulness / Thinking garden which we use as a peaceful area with lots of beautiful flowers, bird feeders and bug hotels. Perfect for observational drawing, bird watching and relaxation.
Furthermore, there is a garden area where we have raised beds which are used to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers. The children love seeing their seeds grow into plants and then eating their produce.
Lastly, we have 2 big tarmac playgrounds which are used for playtime and a huge field that used in the summer for playtime and PE activities.
We believe that all children have the right to experience the unique and special nature of being outdoors. We believe that it is important to enable children to use the outside environment as a context for learning.
Outdoor learning sessions should provide children with the opportunity to access their learning in a different way and to thrive in a different environment. It also encourages children to work collaboratively, giving them the ability to reflect on their learning and create a growth mind-set.
Wherever possible, teachers aim to plan in opportunities for children to access their learning outside. As well as this, children have the opportunity to visit the school conservation area, thinking garden and planting beds.
We sign up to the annual Outdoor Classroom Day (November or May) where the whole school gets involved and ensures at least one session that week is taken outside. It is brilliant to see what each year group gets up to.
At Holbrook, we also provide after school clubs which use the outdoor environment, for example, Nature Club, Gardening club and a variety of sports clubs too.
Each year group provides children with the opportunity to go on a school trip(s), and to use the school/ local environment to enrich their learning such as local area walks or traffic surveys. These are planned into all aspects of the curriculum and, by taking learners beyond their familiar environment, stimulate their curiosity and imagination and motivate children in a powerful way.
Each year group has the opportunity to sign up to spend time in the school conservation area each week. Due to the nature of this subject area, there is no specific time allocation however, teachers aim to provide an outdoor learning opportunity each half term.
The children learn a variety of subjects using their natural environment. They might complete science experiments, explore maths concepts, create art, re-enact historic events, and lots more. The children love the opportunity to go outside and explore their own environment.
Learning beyond the classroom has been found to have a range of advantages for children of all abilities and backgrounds. Being outside can be liberating for those who struggle in a structured school atmosphere and is often demonstrated through improvements in children’s social skills and behaviour.
Being outside also offers a variety of different challenges to all children to which they may be used to. Being outside offers opportunities for team work, problem solving and thinking of new ways of doing things which can create exciting challenges for all children.