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Our Classroom Under The Sky

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.

 

 

Our KS1 Outdoor Clasroom

Our EYFS Classroom under the sky......

Our outdoor space gives our children so many first-hand learning opportunities......

Snowy day adventures.......

We have been having lots of fun exploring our outdoor classroom

Why learn outdoors?

Key Features of our outdoor classroom:-

  • Allows every child to have a voice, especially those who find it difficult to communicate in the more conventional learning environment.
  • The use of a natural outdoor environment.
  • Child-led approach to children’s learning which is fun and unhurried.
  • A high adult to child ratio allows children to undertake new experiences and challenges whilst taking appropriate risks.
  • Long term programme that allows repetition where children come into contact with nature using all their senses.
  • Supports personalised learning.
  • Builds children’s confidence and self esteem as they are responsible for making their own decisions and are carefully supported to achieve.
  • Trained adults are facilitators and observers, rather than leaders and directors.

 

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.

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Our Outside Learning is.....
  • Fun!
  • Regular and ongoing
  • A way of raising confidence and self-esteem
  • Safe, outdoor play and education
  • A way to learn how to manage risks
  • The chance to develop emotionally and physically
  • An opportunity to learn about the curriculum in a natural environment
  • Encourages the children to connect to nature and the great outdoors.
What children do in our Classrooms under the Sky .....
  • Build dens and shelters
  • Games and physical activity
  • Explore the environment
  • Music and lots of noise
  • Trails and Treasure hunts
  • Creativity and Art
  • Using tools safely to make natural items
  • Fires, cooking and healthy eating
  • Science and technology

 

 

Every half term we have a different topic which we base our learning on.

In the EYFS our topics have been:-

  • Exploration - what is outside? extended to look at the effects of Autumn on our trees and leaves. Throughout the year we will be looking at the effects of weather and seasons on both the plant and animal life.
  • British mammals and birds
  • Planting bulbs and building homes
  • Percy the Park Keeper and Friendship
  • Smurfs and using Ipads
  • Gardening

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.

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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.

We enjoy learning with our friends

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