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Outdoor Education

Intent
 

Outdoor Learning sessions at Orchard provide a diverse range of activities based in the natural environment. Outdoor learning sessions follow the 6 principles of Forest School:

1. Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.

2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

3. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

4. Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

5. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

6. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
 

Implementation
 

All Key Stage 3 learners are timetabled a double session every week throughout the academic year

Key Stage 4 students are offered either a single weekly lesson or for the vocational group a full day of activity. All Key Stage 3 learners have the opportunity to achieve a land based qualification.

Regardless of background, ability or need session activities are adapted to ensure they can be accessed by all learners. Learners are assessed in line with centre reporting schedules. The curriculum is planned on a long and medium term basis with a focus on the term’s PBL topic but these plans are flexible and are reviewed regularly in order to respond to learners emerging needs. Sessions feature opportunities for individual and group reflection that supports the cycle of planning, delivering and assessing.
 

Impact
 

As well as learning and practising practical skills, outdoor learning sessions support the holistic development of our children and young people. Sessions and activities will equip our learners with the self-awareness, self-regulation, confidence and social skills to build their resilience and to enable them to confidently grow and achieve in other areas of their education and life.

Subject Overview 

Key Stage 3 – Forest School 

Forest School sessions are underpinned by the Forest School guiding principles and criteria for good practice: 

Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School. 

Principle 2: Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world. 

Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. 

Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves. 

Principle 5: Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice. 

Principle 6: Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning. 

Sessions have an emphasis on evolution of practical skills, problem solving skills, team work and leadership. Some activities have a seasonal focus but the overarching focus for each term is that term’s PBL topic. Assessment is termly in line with centre reporting calendar and based on holistic development of the individual. 

Key Stage 4 – Land Bases 

The Key Stage 4 students in the vocational group all have a full day each week of practical activity with students working towards a Level 1 Land Based qualification. Some of these sessions will be delivered on-site but many will take place out in the local community. As well as visits to National Trust properties, garden centres and nature reserves we make extensive use of local community gardens and allotments.  The other Key Stage 4 students have access to outdoor learning sessions for hour a week and will be working in the woodland and horticultural areas on-site. Students will have the opportunity to achieve Entry Level 2 qualification. 

 

SEG Level 1 Award in Practical Horticulture Skills 

https://skillsandeducationgroupawards.co.uk/qualification/level-1-award-in-practical-horticulture-skills/ 

SEG Entry Level 2 Award in Practical Horticulture Skills 

https://skillsandeducationgroupawards.co.uk/qualification/entry-level-award-in-practical-horticulture-skills-entry-2/ 

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