So incredibly fortunate to have access to beautiful, vast grounds surrounding our school and being in a semi-rural location we certainly make the most of it! We have redesigned certain areas within the grounds to maximise the opportunity for teaching in terms of practicality e.g. Outdoor classroom, vegetable beds, Anderson shelter, pond. However, we have also ensured that we have left some areas wild and overgrown and with minimal interference. We have spent the last five years encouraging outdoor learning to be used as a teaching approach by teachers rather than a separate lesson. We still make opportunity for discrete Forest School sessions, outdoor activities and specific outdoor education focussed sessions. We aim to stimulate the children’s senses and environmental awareness by connecting these experiences locally first before considering a wider, global scale. However, we also take our learning outside of the classroom whenever we see an opportunity to and have the mindset of if we can do it outdoors – why do it indoors? This has been the origin of our CIDIO (Can I Do It Outdoors?) teaching phrase. Since 2020 this has becoming increasingly important and we have considered the impact of lockdown and how limited time outdoors could have been for some children. We continue to use the outdoors as a stimulus for a huge part of our curriculum; hoping to connect our children to their grounds, what lives and grown in them and also getting as much fresh air as we can into our lungs!
Over the course of their time with us at High Hesket School we endeavour to provide opportunities for the children to participate in organised trips, visits and progressive residential experiences. This is an important part of our curriculum and we are passionate about providing encounters outside of the classroom that all of our children can enjoy, access and learn from.