What We Do In the Boulter Building
The Outside Classroom is a facility for all of the children and staff at Warren Park Primary School. We provide an outside curriculum that supports their main stream learning. Also we maintain and develop the grounds for educational use for the rest of the school to use.
We have a year plan which dictates what we intend to cover; this is subject to change if weather or seasons are inclement. Our curriculum is broken into blocks which we teach over a two week cycle. Every class visits us on a fortnightly basis so all children, throughout the school, will have had a similar outside experience.
Aims and Ethos
Teaching Staff in the OC:
The Outside Classroom team is made up of a group of teaching staff that are committed to providing unique learning experiences as well as developing learners understanding and appreciation of the environment that surrounds them.
All of the teaching staff are dedicated to creating special learning experiences that enable learners to question the environment and explore their understanding of the wider curriculum. The staff support learners, helping them to answer their own questions and to address misconceptions. The staff and learning experiences allow learners space and time to develop and embed their learning. Staff use questioning to challenge as well as to systematically assess the learners understanding of subjects that we cover.
The teaching staff have high expectations of the learners and continually foster independence, discovery, exploration and investigation. They encourage learners to try hard and seek to reward positive attitudes to learning. They are determined to ensure that all of the learners can achieve well and that these achievements are celebrated.
The Outside Classroom team continually deepen their own understanding of the subjects that we cover. The staff all have a passion for learning outside and environmental subjects. They share their passions with the leaners and hope to inspire a passion in them that will stay with them beyond their education at Warren Park.
Learning in the OC
Over their time in the Outside Classroom the learners are exposed to activities that nurture resilience, encourage team work and spark intellectual curiosity. Our learners develop these skills during their lessons and can use these skills back in the classroom environment. The team ensure that all learners have opportunities to be successful and to be challenged. All learners have access to the teaching staff’s knowledge as well as resources to support their inquisitiveness. Staff will support and seize opportunities to extend learners and develop their understanding.
The learning takes place in a large wooded area of the school which is specifically used by the Outside Classroom. The learners are introduced to the guidelines every year. The team continuously reinforce the guidelines and ensure that the learners are safe. They are supported with the management of their own behaviour during the early years and we slowly encourage self-management as they progress through the school. The team maintain a safe environment for the learners to explore risk, learning how to understand risk as well as how they can manage risk through behaviour and conduct.
The learning experiences in the Outside Classroom are taken from the National Curriculum. The learners will be taught about Pre History, looking at Britain in the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. The team deliver activities that facilitate learning about the History through research and living archaeology. The learning is done chronologically so the children can build on their understanding and develop a sense of order of events.
The science that the learners experience in the Outside Classroom is taken from the National Curriculum. The learners will experience activities and opportunities for investigation in ‘Animals and Humans’ and ‘Plants and Living Things’. The two areas are broken up into two sequences:
Spring 1 Animals and Humans
Spring 2 Plants and Living Things
Summer 1 Animals and Humans
Summer 2 Plants and Living Things
Dividing the units gives us an opportunity to assess what learning has been embedded and to address any areas that need to be consolidated. The delivery of the lesson and the teacher questioning varies according to the year group being taught but the science activities are very similar for all ages. This creates opportunities for the learners to compare their successes, understanding and curiosities as a whole school.
Learners will have a different experience learning in the Outside Classroom. One of our aims is to broaden the learner’s view of the world. They will be exposed to opportunities to question how they impact the world around them and how they can be a positive force in the world they live in.
Beyond Learning in the OC
As well as teaching the curriculum we aim to teach positive attitudes. The teaching staff nurture the idea of ownership of the Outside Classroom. All learners and visitors to our area of the school are held accountable to the animals and wildlife that live and grow there. Learners are taught that the area is a man-made feature and therefore they are responsible for its upkeep and protection. Our learners grow a deep respect for the nature and apply their knowledge to keeping it safe. Leaners are given opportunities to help maintain areas and we always choose to discuss any damage done, reflecting on its impact to the nature and the learning in the Outside Classroom. We hope to encourage a respect for nature that extends beyond our boundaries and time at our school.
The teaching staff seek events in the local community where we can get involved with projects and competitions. We have a good relationship with local schools, farms and agencies; we frequently share good practices and celebrate achievements with them. Our learners have a sense of pride of our Outside Classroom and are always willing to share that with others.
We provide the children with welly boots, waterproof trousers and waterproof jackets when needed. Children are always prompted to put the correct clothes on for the weather or activity although they sometimes choose to take them off a soon as they get a chance. We have sun cream and sun hats too which are used in hot weather; we use Nivea sun cream and parents should inform the school office if they do not wish us to use it on their children.
Our timetables are provisional, changes may be made due to inclement weather, seasonal delays and changes to whole school timetables.