Outdoor Learning is a key feature of the curriculum offer at Astley St Stephen’s CE Primary School. Through learning outdoors, children have the opportunity to develop and practise a range of important behaviours, attitudes and skills. These include communication, resilience, social interaction, self-agency and managing risk. In addition, through outdoor learning opportunities children acquire fine and gross motor skills and learn about sequencing and ordering. These are fundamental building blocks which support the learning that takes place in the classroom.
Astley St Stephen’s works with other partner organisations such as the Brathey Trust, the John Muir Trust and the Royal Horticultural society to help deliver our aims.
As well as developing learning skills from being outdoors, children also learn about sustainability, ecology and wildlife conservation. Astley St Stephen’s offers:
§ access to Dam house woods for exploration and discovery
§ a sustainable kitchen garden for growing fruit and vegetables that are used for cooking projects
§ a sheltered outdoor classroom and soft play area with awnings
§ a large field with a pond currently being developed by the Rotary in conjunction with school
§ an opportunity to participate in the annual RSPB bird survey
§ school council Eco Schools activities
§ an opportunity to take part in the John Muir Discovery and Explorer awards
§ the opportunity to take part in outdoor learning at one of the Brathey Trust residential centres in the Lake District
§ visitors providing a range of specialist outdoor learning skills
As with every learning opportunity, the school is thoughtful about risk reduction and risk management. Where possible the children will have access to the outdoors every day either as part of play times or for curriculum activities. For this reason it is important that your child has the right clothing and kit for the activities on offer, for example PE kits, indoor shoes, wellington boots. School provides waterproof clothing for all pupils.
At St Stephen’s we say "There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!"
Here is an overview of the themes covered in outdoor learning, alongside the skills being taught.