Outdoor Learning


Outdoor Learning

Outdoor education is a priority at Annan and is both promoted and enhanced by our beautiful natural surroundings and regular Forest School sessions.   Our grounds include a pond, orchard, greenhouse, gardens, composting area, large lawn and outdoor learning spaces around each classroom. Our nature area with a wildlife pond has numerous places to observe nature, build animal habitats and has a fire pit and small shelters.

These spaces are an integral part of our everyday life providing opportunities for work and play. Children learn to develop a natural and deep appreciation for the outdoor world.  Children have the opportunity to care for this environment and actively participate in the sowing, growing and harvesting of fruit, flowers and vegetables.

All classes have their own Froebelian growing beds which allows children to be involved in all stages of growing from planning what to plant, digging over and preparing the beds, planting seeds, weeding, nurturing and of course harvesting.

The outdoor area also includes a natural play area called half acre where children can play on a climbing frame, swings, make imaginary worlds from natural materials or just run around with friends. There are also places to talk and sit and be quiet.

 

 

image
Read more about outdoor learning

Here are some links to find out more about the importance of outdoor learning

Risk_taking


Frequently asked questions

Why is outdoor learning important?

Outdoor Learning provides such a different climate for learning that children who struggle as learners in the classroom often become motivated and capable learners in the outdoors. Teachers are frequently surprised by the abilities and interest shown by children when in the outdoors, and by the extent to which Outdoor Learning has awakened their potential.

What other benefits are there?

Outdoor Learning provides such a different climate for learning that children who can struggle as learners in the classroom often become motivated and capable learners in the outdoors. Teachers are frequently surprised by the abilities and interest shown by many children when in the outdoors, and by the extent to which Outdoor Learning has awakened their potential.

What other skills can being outside develop?

Different outdoor learning experiences offer a breadth of opportunities for personal and learning skills development in areas such as communication, problem solving, information technology, working with others, creativity and thinking skills. Outdoor activities such as gardening or forest school show children just how much they can achieve when they work well together developing team skills and team spirit.

Do all age groups get to work and play outside?

Kindergarten and Infant children are outdoors on a daily basis, learning through energetic play, exploration and investigation in their own purpose designed gardens. Primary children develop their knowledge and skills to higher levels and learning outdoors often takes place outside the classrooms as well as in the woods and on trips.

Which classes go to Forest School?

All classes spend half a day a week in the forest. Kindergarten children start off using our own wildlife area onsite. They then venture further afield as they get more confident. All other classes use the adjacent forest for their sessions of forest school. They keep a beautiful diary of their time in the woods. These are available in the classrooms for parents to read.

Who runs the forest school sessions?

We have a trained Forest School teacher who comes into school to run forest school sessions. The class teachers also go with the children to Forest School so that the learning can be fully embedded in the curriculum.