Outdoor Learning in Foundation Stage
Outdoor Learning Curriculum Statement
At Kippax Ash Tree Foundation Stage, in line with our ambition for children we incorporate a designated outdoor learning curriculum as part of our weekly routine. The aim is that our curriculum serves as a cornerstone to increasing life skills and experiences throughout their time in Foundation Stage.
The aims of this curriculum are:
• To build self-esteem and confidence in children.
• To build resilient, determined and independent learners
• To develop children’s personal, social and emotional development.
• To develop children’s and encourage creativity
• To encourage collaboration.
• To develop and build the ideas of risk management and risk benefit
• To improve children’s life skills and experiences
• To enable children to gain a respect for the natural environment and wildlife.
• To transfer negative behaviours into positive ones.
• To let children be children
These aims will be covered with a variety of outdoor learning teaching strategies that not only seek to aid the children in their learning but also be provided in a positive, enjoyable, creative and inspiring manner that will allow them to transfer the skills and knowledge into the classroom and life outside of school.
To ensure that our curriculum reaches the high standards of teaching and learning that we pride ourselves on at Kippax Ash Tree, we have implemented a progressive curriculum throughout Foundation Stage. Discrete weekly outdoor learning lessons are timetabled allowing each Family Group a large percentage of high quality outdoor learning per year. This will be in addition to separate outdoor learning the children will engage in exploration time.
Forest school is a globally recognised teaching system that aims to meet the intent of this curriculum through holistic learning. It is through this method that we strive to provide our pupils with the widest range of skills and opportunities available to us. Due to its child led nature and focus on social development, Forest School engages children in a manner that is hard to imitate in the classroom. This creates new opportunities for learning and development that might not be accessed during regular day-to-day schooling. As we know, every child is different, as are their learning habits, something that here at Ash Tree we recognise, encourage and utilise.
At Ash Tree, we are fortunate to have a large outdoors learning environment ranging from the school field, grassed area, pond and wildlife area to the schools allotments. It is here the majority of the learning will take place but it is our aim to also expand our outdoor learning into the wider community and environment to give the children a wider range of experience and allow them to become more familiar with the world surrounding them.
After the implementation of the robust outdoor learning curriculum, children at Ash Tree will become more well-rounded and prepared learners and individuals. They will not only be more confident and resilient learners, they will become more caring and supportive peers due to the heavy focus the curriculum places on understanding and generating empathy. This will allow children will become more able to regulate their social, mental, emotional and spiritual health meaning the children to perform better in collaborative learning and tasks, arming them with the skills necessary to improve themselves in their schooling career and life in the wider world.
As children grow in confidence in their abilities in the outdoor environment, they will begin to understand, assess and manage their own risk and safety. This will allow the children to become more independent and show them that life comes with not only risk but also rewards. It also teaches them what their own limits are and that they can push through them. They will see that sometimes we don’t always get the desired result the first time but that doesn’t make us a failure, it helps us to grow, forcing us to try again in a different way. It encourages problem solving logical thinking and self-reflection and evaluation but most of all the pupils will see that mistakes aren’t failures; they are a part of learning, that they are, ultimately, human.