Outdoor Learning and Forest School at Park

At Park Primary School we believe that outdoor learning sessions provide all of our learners with opportunities to achieve, develop confidence, self esteem and a love for learning. This is done through practical hands-on experiences in a natural outdoor environment where the children are empowered to be independent, creative and confident learners. 

Every Experience Matters reported on research from around the globe, it found that children who engaged in outdoor education had greater levels of physical development and motor skills, increased confidence and self-esteem, showed leadership qualities and were socially competent and environmentally responsible. (Malone, 2008)

We know the importance of nature connection and strive to instill this in our learners and staff. Children who express greater connection with nature are more likely to report taking action to care for nature. Children’s connection with nature increases with time spent in nature, and extended time in nature in childhood, many studies show, predicts active care for nature in adulthood.

Forest school is a concept that can be linked back to the early work of some most influential educational theorists and has been well embedded in Scandinavian education. It involves children learning in the outdoors for prolonged periods of time. Forest school gives children hands-on learning opportunities in an environment that stimulates all of their senses. It encourages their curiosity, problem solving, independence and gives them the chance to take risks in a well managed way

Park’ s 2022-2023 offer:

Nursery Forest School: 1 session per week (Monday) am and pm session.Outdoor play and big physical skills days at the park. Building towards a 60% outdoor provision.
Reception Forest School: 1 session every other week – focus on fine motor, nature connection, child-led,communication and  vocabulary. 15 chn per group. (Tuesday and Wednesday)
Y1-Y6 Environmental Education:

CAT day session (every other week) 

KS1: Seasons – to become one with nature; to enliven the senses; and experience awe and wonder for the natural environment, the elements, the seasons and the weather. To create rhythm and repetition within each environmental education session which supports childrens’ mindset towards the natural world and their own wellbeing. 

KS2:  water, air, landscape, energy, wildlife biodiversity, earth summit. 

Environmental awareness, ecological knowledge, attitudes, values, commitments for actions, and ethical responsibilities for the rational use of resources and for sound and sustainable development

Monday to Thursday

Engagement Provision

Forest School: 1 session per week Tuesday

EP: responsiveness, curiosity, discovery, anticipation, persistence, initiation and investigation

Child-led learning with a high adult to child ratio.

Wellbeing Group Forest School: 1 session every other week – Thursdays. Group focus varies e.g. anxiety, grief, siblings, behavior, risk management
Whole School

Teachers use outdoor areas on site and West Ham Park for lessons including P.E., science (pond dipping, flower classification etc) geography and history. Teachers are encouraged and supported to plan and facilitate outdoor lessons regularly. 

Regular wellbeing walks with school dogs led by the Head Teacher, Mrs Ttoffali.