We believe that every child should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development. The outdoor environment has massive potential for providing learning opportunities. Here at Hawford we are extremely fortunate to be set in large grounds and surrounded by an environment rich in opportunities. We make full use of our local area, including the canal and the rivers, to enhance our educational provision.
The outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from EYFS through to Year 6. Our outdoor learning experiences are delivered through a combination of school-based outdoor learning, visits to other places and residential programmes.
Learning outdoors is part of our wide range of practical approaches to developing skills. Opportunities for outdoor learning exist within and across all curriculum areas and help to develop personal and social skills, communication, problem solving, thinking skills and teamwork, as well as English, Mathematics and all other curriculum areas.
Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors. Learning outdoors can be enjoyable, creative, challenging and adventurous and helps children learn by experience and grow as confident and responsible citizens who value and appreciate the natural environment.
The Nature of our Provision
The school offers a diverse experience for children, both inside and outside the classroom. We believe that outdoor experiences enhance and develop the classroom-based environment. Although it is difficult to summarise our total provision, the following notes give a general picture:
- In Kindergarten and Reception all children have a weekly Forest School session.
- Early Years children also enjoy both an outdoor garden area (Kindergarten 1) and an outdoor play area with adventurous play equipment. They also use the courtyards adjacent to their classrooms as an extension of the classroom.
- All Year 1 to Year 6 children use the outdoor play area daily.
- Trips are organised each term for all classes.
- Year 1 and Year 2 children enjoy outdoor use of the Forest School area.
- After school clubs for the younger children (Reception to Year 2) see the children engaged in outdoor activities such as gardening club, katakanu club and nature studies club.
- In Years 3 to Year 6 the children have the opportunity after school to take part in a gardening club and outward bound club.
- Opportunities are used throughout the curriculum to use the outdoors in all subjects.
- There is an outdoor classroom for use throughout the year.
- The curriculum is enhanced by a diverse range of events throughout the year, such as school walks, camp outs involving many year groups and whole school camping experiences.
- All children in Year 2 to Year 6 take part in residential visits to support their learning.
- There is a traversing wall for use in lessons.
Please follow this link for our Outdoor Learning Policy
Please follow this link for more information on our Forest School it is used by the children.