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Outdoor learning

DHCPS has a very varied outdoor provision available to all pupils throughout the entire year. Our vision is that all children have:

  • A right to play
  • A right to access the outdoors
  • A right to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world
  • A right to experience a healthy range of emotions through all the challenges of social interaction, helping them to build the resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and in realising their own potential

We are incredibly lucky to have our own school farm where the children are able to observe, interact and care for our small brood. Many of our families enjoy volunteering for farm duties during weekends and over the school holidays to care for the animals when school is closed.

The farm provides not only a valuable opportunity for developing nurture, and enriching experiences, but also helps children understand responsibility and overcome fears, while helping to build a transferable work ethic outside of the classroom

toolsThe farm is used in a variety of ways throughout the school day;

  • To enhance the curriculum in an alternative and inspiring setting
  • To offer individual and group support to children who are experiencing personal challenges
  • Hosting children from neighbouring schools enables our pupils to demonstrate and communicate their knowledge and interests which consolidates interpersonal skills

We also engage in forest school activities within the school grounds, which allow the children to manage their own risks in a safe environment ensuring they learn valuable life skills, and beginning to recognise their own self-worth.

The widely-recognised benefits of forest schools are:

  • Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Improved social skills
  • The development of language and communication skills
  • Improved physical motor skills
  • Improved motivation and concentration
  • Increased knowledge and understanding of the natural environment

This is achieved through following the child’s natural curiosity and interest in their surroundings. Activities might include; making a camp fire, cooking outdoors, using tools to make items from wood, playing woodland games, den building, bug hunting, natural art, role play games, pond dipping, fantastical storytelling, tree climbing…

All of which is enhanced by using our log cabin and purpose-built outdoor stage.

We also hold immersion days annually, where a specific year group will engage in outdoor learning for the whole day, usually referred to as a trip without a coach. These days are generally linked to the curriculum and help to bring the learning to life in a fun and practical way.

For more information on Forest Schools please contact

s63swylde@dickens-heath.solihull.sch.uk

 

 

 

Forest school photo gallery: