We’ve had an adventurous start to the new year at the junior school with all our pupils involved in a fun ‘Outdoor Day’ in their first week back at school. Outdoor learning is a key aspect of our provision, making the most of our wonderful natural surroundings, facilities and specialist staff. It was the perfect way to get the children back working and enjoying their learning together, and putting our core values of respect, ambition and participation straight back into action.
By creating teams across all the age groups from 5 to 11 years, it was a great way for all the children to get to know each other, work together and make new friendships. It was also a good way to begin our Year 6 buddying system, encouraging our older pupils to support and mentor the youngest children in the school.
The morning session saw the creation of artwork in the playground using natural materials collected from the forest area and local surroundings. Each team contributed to great one large piece of work symbolising our pupils coming together and supporting one another. In the Ghyl Field, near our pond and nature area, our staff, including our groundsman Mr Shepherd, showed the children how to cut and weave hazel branches in order to create a wall. They particularly enjoyed jumping in the clay pit, adding straw, and then grabbing handfuls to cover the structure. Meanwhile, in the sports pavilion a number of orienteering tasks took place with our sports team, helping them to create their own maps and developing their problem-solving skills.
After a well-deserved hot lunch, the children were back outside foraging for wood to make a fire, which they then sat around drinking hot chocolate and singing songs led by our Head of Performing Arts teacher on the guitar. The day ended with some relay games and a particularly fun game of hide and seek around the Ghyl Field.
Everyone loved the whole experience (including our teachers) and learned so much both practically and socially. We can’t wait to plan our next ‘Outdoors Day’.