We are very proud of our Outdoor Learning Programme, which incorporates Outdoor and Adventurous Activities. We have a fully trained Level 3 Forest School Leader who supports and guides us with our outdoor learning.
All the children from Pre school through to Year 6 experience outdoor learning as part of their curriculum. This includes making fires, whittling, den making, nature study, outdoor science, art and problem-solving adventure activities. We are fortunate to have access to the beautiful countryside and woodland around Renhold too.
Outdoor activities, both at school and on residential courses, enable pupils to enjoy challenging and unfamiliar experiences that test and develop their physical, social and personal skills. They can be among the most memorable experiences for pupils of their school days. At Renhold, we provide a range of opportunities for such learning whether as part of their regular curriculum, through special activity days or through residential trips.
From spring through to winter we observe and explore the natural environment within the school grounds and surrounding countryside. We go out in all weathers and the children learn how to dress in appropriate clothing to meet the weather conditions.
Each season we walk to the woods to observe seasonal changes in the natural environment and during our walk we learn about and observe the countryside code.
We study the life cycle of the Elder and Horse chestnut trees and collect Elder branches and conkers which we use in our woodworking sessions.
We learn to correctly use small hand tools including hack saws, bow saws, hand drills and various whittling tools.
We learn how to forage without harming ourselves or our environment.
We collect and identify berries, flowers, seeds, leaves, and sticks which we use to make natural dyes and natural art.
We collect firewood for charcoal making and learn fire safety.
We learn knot tying skills and construct frames to create temporary shelters.
In Outdoor Adventurous Activity sessions the children take part in team building and problem solving activities.
BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR LEARNING
Outdoor Learning develops independence, builds self confidence and resilience. It encourages a sense of awe and wonder and an understanding of eco systems. It gives opportunities for the acquisition of physical skills, co-ordination, dexterity and strength. It develops an understanding of risk and encourages problem solving and team work.
It empowers children to take responsibility for their own learning. Children are set up to achieve and are supported to take appropriate risks through developing trust in themselves and each other.
Outdoor Learning promotes holistic, individualised learning and development. It is for all ages and abilities and is fully inclusive. The natural environment stimulates all the senses, all areas of development and all learning styles, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. It encourages emotional growth and self esteem. It gives the children the time and space to be themselves, find peace and communicate with each other in a safe and caring environment.
Above all it instils a deep respect and awareness for the natural world and reconnects the children to their environment.