At Whitefield Infant School, we use the outdoors as our 'Classroom Under the Sky', which is roofed only by the clouds! It acts as an outdoor classroom where children can explore, investigate and discover the natural environment, alongside developing their language and gaining first-hand learning experiences. It provides a valuable teaching tool for teaching and learning in all curriculum areas. Our 'Classroom Under the Sky' uses the Forest School Principles, interwoven with our own visions and values and beliefs about how our children learn.
Why learn outdoors?
Key Features of our outdoor classroom:-
At Whitefield we take these features and weave them into our outside learning, linking them into the curriculum making it become more alive, exciting and real.
Every half term we have a different topic which we base our learning on.
In the EYFS our topics have been:-
The children are able to explore and develop their own interests in the many areas there are, kitchen, garden, water, construction and music to name a few.
Some of the above are on going with small changes made to them following on from the children's own interest or reinforcing learning taking place in the classroom.
Strong links are made to literacy and the development of the children's language and understanding.
In all the age groups children are transformed when they go outside.
They find their voices, increase in confidence and develop social skills through actions.
They do not mind the weather, dressed in their waterproofs, well wrapped up and boots, they are off to see what is out there from an acorn, a snail, a leaf, painting, building, I could go on and on and on, enthusiasm is catching and our school has it in bundles.