At Willow Lane, the classroom isn’t defined by the four walls of the room. We know that children learn more when they are emotionally engaged and when learning is real.
Why write instructions about a cup of tea when you can build a den and then write instructions about the process? Why retell fairy tales using computer images when sticks, straw and bricks are dotted around the wildlife area? Why cut out and sort worksheets when young scientists can be building habitats for creatures in the school grounds?
Being outside offers far more than embedding learning and the curriculum. It lays the foundations of a lifelong love of the outdoors, the natural world and the environment. It allows children who find navigating a classroom challenging, an arena to shine. It allows everyone an opportunity to develop new skills and to work collaboratively. To develop skills such as communication, resilience, teamwork and problem solving which are transferable to the classroom and throughout one’s life, the children from Reception to Year 3 each spend an afternoon a week involved in Forest School activities.
As well as using the school grounds to enhance our curriculum, all children spend time growing and harvesting in the allotment before cooking their produce. Furthermore, there are opportunities to join the Gardening Club as well as take part in local initiatives such as bulb planting in Westfield Memorial Village.