Outdoor Learning at Glascote Academy is an intrinsic and much-admired part of our school curriculum. Children have the unique opportunity to work in the great outdoors at our on-site community farm and forest area. From getting down and dirty working with our pigs, to den building and making s’mores around the campfire, there is always plenty to do.
Children learn how to look after and handle a variety of animals, including goats, pigs, alpacas, ducks, chickens, rabbits, and guinea-pigs, as well as our resident farm cat. They can get up close and personal with these animals, developing practical skills and a sense of responsibility though caring for our furry friends.
Children also have the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetables, taking ownership of the vegetable patch through planting, maintaining, and harvesting throughout the year. Our produce is used in DT cooking lessons, and excesses are sold to the local community. Glascote Academy has achieved the Bronze LEAF Award (Linking Environment and Farming) and is working towards achieving the Silver Award. This award promotes sustainable food production, and helps children learn where their food comes from through practical and memorable outdoor learning experiences.
In our Forest School, our qualified Level 3 Forest School practitioner oversees practical outdoor learning that links with the National Curriculum. Children might hunt for bugs, make forest crafts from natural materials, build dens, or identify local flora and fauna. Sessions are linked to curriculum topics, helping to build upon knowledge learned within the classroom and apply it to practical activities.
Our outdoor learning area also offers a safe space for nurture groups, where bespoke sessions are utilised for children with additional needs. Children enjoy team building activities, spending “therapy” time with our animals and enjoying the multiple health benefits, both physical and mental, of spending time outdoors.