Outdoor Learning at Hurst Knoll St. James
Learning outdoors has proven benefits to the development of social communication skills, problem solving and improved mental wellbeing. Outdoor Learning at Hurst Knoll aims to provide a new context to enrich the curriculum taught in the classroom, while also providing new and memorable experiences for all pupils. Opportunities to take risks, problem solve and develop confidence & independence through hands on experiences in our outdoor environment are central to the curriculum that we provide.
At Hurst Knoll, we provide weekly opportunities for Outdoor Learning for pupils in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Pupils engage with challenging yet achievable tasks throughout the year in almost all weathers. Pupils learn to problem solve, building confidence and their ability to work as a team through good communication and decision making. Pupils are encouraged to develop resilience, responsibility and a desire for a growth mindset.
Planning is linked to the curriculum followed in each year group and enhanced with the ‘Wild Passport’ skills curriculum which builds skills using a progressive and sequential series of lessons. Activities such as building shelters, cooking, arts and crafts have strong links with Science, Design Technology, Geography and Maths but can also provide inspiration for other subjects by providing memorable experiences. Opportunities to include links to our PHSE curriculum are embedded in all sessions as pupils engage independently in tasks requiring the development of relationships and reasoning as well as promoting a sense of emotional wellbeing. Natural resources are used from the local environment or imported from other local sources in a responsible and sustainable manner in order to safeguard our natural environment.
During Outdoor Learning Sessions, assessment for learning strategies are used such as questioning, feedback, peer and self-assessment. Monitoring the impact of Outdoor Learning is also carried out through interview of pupils and class teachers to collect feedback and gauge impact upon pupil’s enjoyment, personal development, knowledge and understanding.