Outdoor Learning at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
‘Let Nature be your teacher!’ William Wordsworth
Outdoor learning is core to our whole curriculum and learning experiences. At St Mary’s we believe strongly in the value of learning outdoors, as children benefit from a greater understanding of the environment, seasonal change, studies of their local environment, whilst it also promotes physical health and exercise, mental health, emotional well-being and results in happier well-behaved children.
What St Mary’s Offers
We are very fortunate to have wonderful grounds, with many species of wild flowers and plants, a variety of natural habitats and many species of visiting birds! Apart from the field and playgrounds, we have our own Forest School with a tepee, a fire pit, log seating and den-making equipment. We also have a nature trail, vegetable garden, outdoor gym, trim trail and canopied picnic area! We aim to enrich our children’s learning experiences more fully through our Outdoor Curriculum.
High-quality outdoor learning experiences are proven to:
- Develop reflective and inquisitive thinking along with problem-solving approaches in ‘real’ situations
- Encourage holistic development of children
- Develop resilience and adaptability in occasionally adverse circumstances
- Allow children to become more able to identify hazards and risks
- Develop a love, appreciation and respect for nature and all that is living
- Develop an understanding of how we can look after our environment
- Develop self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem
- Develop collaborative working and communication skills
- Provide positive health benefits, both physically and mentally, and also assist with gross and fine-motor development
- Develop a lifelong love of the outdoor
Children learn to be comfortable outdoors and have a better understanding of their environment. They connect with the idea of conservation, both on a local and global level and gain a variety of skills which will help them in the wider world. They learn how to work cooperatively, solving tasks and sharing equipment, they develop resilience, they think creatively, listen to instructions, adapt to change, take on responsibility, develop positive relationships with others and work collaboratively as a team.