Forest School & Outdoor Learning
Mud pies, scrambling over tree trunks, searching for bugs, campfires!
Valuing the great outdoors and experiencing it whatever the weather is the approach we take at St Andrew’s. In Nursery and Reception we encourage pupils into learning outdoors every day. Whether it is gathering leaves for art or using twigs for maths problems, our school fields and woods are an invaluable resource. Further up the School, pupils have numerous opportunities to experience the great outdoors.
“The ethos of Forest School is based on a fundamental respect for children and young people and for their capacity to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them. It believes in children's right to play; the right to access the outdoors (and in particular a woodland environment); the right to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world; and the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through all the challenges of social interaction, to build a resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and their potential.”
Every Friday, Pre-Prep pupils are found exploring in our School woods. Taking learning outdoors gives our pupils the opportunity to respect their environment and respect each other whilst their curiosity and zest for learning are nourished. In the woods our pupils enjoy a warm drink, den building, bug hunting, coppicing, whittling and using knives safely. Our ‘woodland explorers’, led by a Level 3 Forest School practitioner, learn the importance of collaboration, courage, compassion, creativity, commitment and curiosity.
Tucked away in the far corner of our woods, beyond the Donkey Field and the School orchard, lies our brand new outdoor learning area. This area supports our Forest School activities and our PE and Games curriculum throughout the School from 3 to 13. It is also used for extra-curricular activities and for holiday camps.
Crucial life skills of communication, collaboration, problem-solving and developing initiative and leadership are fostered in this exciting new facility. The woods already have their own canopied area and fixed campfires, but this area will be further developed and will include a mountain bike track and an activity trail of problem-solving activities.