Our Aims for Learning through Nature:
For children to develop practical life skills and an appreciation of the natural environment.
For children to face new challenges and learn to manage and take reasonable risks in a supportive environment.
When will my child go to Boxford Woods (Private Woodlands)?
After we have come to know your child, we will offer a chance to go to Boxford Woods (Private Woodlands). At first, the visit may only be for the morning but it is gradually increased as the children become more familiar with the environment. Children are able to go several times during the term. Parents receive a letter during the week that their child is going to the woods seeking their permission – there is no cost for this extra activity. Parents will have already completed the medical offsite activity form on the initial home visit.
What happens on a visit to the woods?
Children spend the day in the woods, including a lunch. Children enjoy opportunity to do the following:
- Explore using their senses
- Look at different mini-beasts and plants
- Listen to the different sounds
- See what the world looks like from the top of a hill
- Notice the change in the seasons
- Feel the different surfaces and materials
- Stretch their imagination using objects such as pine cones, trees etc
- Go on a bear hunt, climb, use the zip-wire and the ropes
- Work with their friends to make a den
- Find natural treasures
- Use simple tools like magnifying glasses, find out where ants live . . . . . . the list is endless and will depend on the children
What will my child learn and experience?
- Higher levels of involvement in learning
- Greater levels of language
- Increased co-operation, working together
- Higher levels of confidence, self-esteem and a positive self-image
- Develop their curiosity and exploration
- Their awe and wonder at the natural world
- Wider knowledge of the natural world
- Increased motivation to engage in learning
- Physical confidence and improved co-ordination, with children challenging themselves
- Imaginative play using real and natural objects
- Evaluating and managing reasonable risks: they know about safety in the environment; they test their own capabilities and limitations and are aware of when they must use caution
- Knowledge and competencies in the use of real tools
- Increased skills in problem-solving, finding their own resources and seeking out others to support them in their learning
- Observation skills: they learn from each other and are interested in each other’s discoveries.
“The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky”
Margaret McMillan (1919)