Learning outside the classroom.
Learning outside the classroom has always been an important part of St Christopher's pedagogy. We are hoping to develop this even further from January 2019 with the introduction of an outdoor learning curriculum plan(see below).
The idea came about after Mrs. Denby's visit to China(October 2018) While partnering up with a school in China, she observed the children learning and looking after their outdoor area and wetland.
Last year we have started Forest School sessions on site. Our woodlands, with the help of the Mersey Forest Trust now has a fire circle, paths and designated tool area. We have also added handmade fences and the whole school was involved in planting new trees and willow to allow us to den build.
We are looking forward to developing and using this area further.
Previously we have enjoyed Forest School sessions with Reception Class children, year three Children's University club and a parent child session, which we hope will continue in 2018/19.
Children in Reception will enjoy sessions to promote writing outdoors, team work and perseverance
Children's university (Spring term) will focus on children taking part in sessions including, outdoor art, using tools safely and fire lighting.
As many of you are aware, St. Christopher’s has been offering and developing Forest School sessions to support children’s learning, over the past few years. Forest school is the name for an approach to educating children in an outdoor environment. Work will support many aspects of the Early Years Curriculum (EYFS) and will have a strong emphasis on raising all children’s self-esteem and independence.
An integrated part of the Forest School experience is that children will experience the outdoors in all weathers (except high winds and thunder storms). To help achieve this school will provide water proof coats and trousers. We ask you to supply either wellies or boots and on sunny days a sun hat and please apply sun cream, prior to coming to school. Children should still wear their school uniform, with layers added on cold days. Please bear in mind your child is likely to get muddy.
During Forest School the children will be given the opportunity to use tools and light fires. As a parent, I know this sounds alarming but please be reassured that Forest school both at St. Christopher’s and nationally have an excellent safety record thanks to the robust procedures that are required to be in place.
Firstly, every session may only be ran by a qualified Forest school leader- in our school this is Mrs Baxter.
Secondly, Forest School can only be run with better than usual staff- child ratios. We require a minimum of 1-5 and usually work on a ratio of 1-3.meaning when the children use tools or have a lit fire activities are well supervised.
Sometime during your child’s year in Reception they will be given the opportunity to attend 3 Forest School sessions. These sessions take place at Speke Hall woodlands. The children are transported to and from school via our school mini bus and spend the morning (approximately 9.30-11.30) in the woodland.
Consent forms will be sent out closer to the time of your child’s sessions.
If you have any questions about Forest School, I am, of course, very happy to chat to you and answer any questions.
Thank you for your support.