Whitesheet Primary Academy was successful in bidding for a grant that allowed them to purchase a waterproof coat and pair of trousers for every child on roll. In addition they have relied on donations of wellington boots for every child. This has allowed the academy to organise an afternoon a week of outdoor activities which is named ‘Learning Without Walls’. It is based on the principles of the Forest School learning approach.
The children are outside whatever the weather and have great fun learning about their natural environment. It is really enthusing the children and adding a new dimension to the curriculum.
The initiative has only been going for a short while but the children are really enjoying this form of learning. The lessons are well planned and over time cover all areas of the curriculum. So far the children have had a scavenger hunt and created magical creatures from their findings. The children also took part in a tracking activity to find a lost friend and they have recently focused on birds that visit the grounds of the academy. Knowledge on birds has increased to such an extent that the children can recognise different species and some of them can recognise the different birdsong.
The children are also following up their learning at home. We have seen different feathers mounted in their ‘learning journals’ accompanied by pictures of relevant birds. The children bring in nests they have found in the garden and pictures of different birds for the display. Harry went home and collected very small twigs and made a very intricate nest. He was very proud to show it to the school during family worship.
It really is promoting confidence, self esteem and good team work. The academy is looking forward to developing this initiative further throughout the year.
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