“Our curriculum promotes social mobility;
we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly.”
Outdoor Learning at St George’s –
Woodland School, BaseCamp and our Rainbow Allotment
Outdoor education is pivotal to our curriculum offer; we have two woodland areas, our own allotment and BaseCamp - a large outdoor area opened in September 2020 which includes an assault course, a gym, table tennis tables, a stage, a pavilion, story throne, fairy tale hut, reading shed and nature area.
‘The Natural World’ is one of our curriculum drivers, and by providing multiple outdoor learning opportunities, our children develop a love, respect and awe of the world around us. Learning in our two woodland areas is a bespoke process which offers all learners frequent opportunities to achieve and succeed through hands on experiences in a woodland setting. This learning approach sits within and compliments a wider curriculum. In participating in motivating, engaging and achievable tasks each child has an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivational, emotional and social skills. Evidence has shown that quality outdoor learning experiences have proved a success with children and young people who visit the same woodland site regularly and through these experiences learn about the natural environment, how to manage their own risks and develop their own initiative to problem solve and cooperate with others. It is these experiences and opportunities we at St. George’s aim to provide our children with.
In 2019 we opened our “Rainbow Allotment”. This large space has an enormous polytunnel and raised beds for all classes. Our Foundation Stage Unit also has its own vegetable patch within its outdoor area.
Woodland learning in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 is run throughout the year, heading into our onsite setting in all weathers. Many enjoy daily experiences which include such activities as building shelters, woodland craftwork, telling stories, cooking over fires, hunting for minibeasts and making mud pies.
Every class has growing areas within our Rainbow Allotment and our Year 4 children work weekly with the company We Can Grow as allotment ambassadors. Through working in the allotment and our food education programme, our children all develop an understanding of the farm to fork philosophy. There is nothing like growing vegetables to make children eat vegetables!
BaseCamp is open for KS2 children all year round – weather permitting. Classes go out there with their teachers for a whole host of lessons; science, geography, music and story time to name a few. The assault course and outdoor gym is open at break times and lunch times to encourage our children to get active every single day.
The St. George’s outdoor learning programme aims to develop self-awareness and regulation, self-motivation, empathy, positive social communication, problem solving, independence, positive mental health and confidence. It also promotes physical fitness and healthy eating.
Our ethos here helps create learning opportunities for children and young people where deep rooted independent learning is common place, putting the children at the centre of their own learning experience whilst developing an awe, wonder and respect of the natural environment.