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.
In 2017 we 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 as the plants flourish and attract more wildlife.
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, has an excellent safety record thanks to the robust procedures that are required to be in place.
Firstly, every session may only be run 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.