Being Outside in Nature
At Oaklands, tucked away from the world, we have a hidden oasis! We embrace the benefits of learning in the outdoor environment where all have regular exposure to our woodland and outdoor areas.
Not only does the outdoors provide multi-sensory, hands-on experiences but regular exposure can improve a child’s well-being by decreasing anxiety and also elevate moods.
We are lucky enough to have our very own woods on the school site. Mrs Brace is out Level 3 trained Forest School Teacher who leads the learning with the class teachers.
From Nursery to Year 6, the children have regular sessions at our Forest School. These regular sessions throughout the year allow the children to develop and build on their physical, emotional, social and creative skills in addition to improving well-being, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Forest School sessions are throughout the year so the children can experience all seasons therefore noticing the changes that each season brings and also developing a connection with our natural environment.
Each class has a a programme which enables the children to learn how to use tools safely, develop and apply knot tying and to begin and manage a fire. The children are taught how they can risk assess for themselves and manage risks that may arise. These skills can then be applied through child led learning where children can make their own choices and decisions on their learning journeys.
At the heart of the school lies the Farm. Here, the children are able to watch and care for chickens, ducks and Guinea Pigs as part of their day to day life at the school. Most of our animals were born at the school and raised here.
The farm is also a great community project as parents and families are able to join as Farm ambassadors and care of the animals over the year.
Our current community project is our allotment. We have been extremely lucky to work with a community team to develop this area and we are soon hoping to have this up and running so not only the school but local community can benefit from what an allotment can offer.
Another area the children can enjoy is our meadow which includes our bird ‘look out’ and the fruit trees which children across the school planted during lock down. From here, the children can explore nature and look for all the different kind of wildlife our site offers.