Key Stage Two pupils at Springfield Primary school in Sunbury are planting the seeds of their own educational future after becoming involved in the school’s Outdoor Learning Club.
Springfield has extensive woodlands and nature areas in its grounds, and the group, run by teacher Zoe Robinson, meet weekly for a lesson in all things outdoor and ecological.
“We’ve only had two meetings so far, but it’s going to run all year round, in all weathers, and the feedback from the first couple of classes has been wonderfully positive,” said Miss Robinson. “As well as activities like planting their own vegetables and flowers, the children will be learning about plant and insect life, and also using Outdoor Learning activities in other parts of the curriculum, like numeracy, and also in team-building games and exercises.”
Caring for the environment is a key part of teaching at Springfield. Earlier in the year, the school’s pupil parliament voted to take part in the Clean for the Queen national environmental clean-up, tidying both the school’s grounds and also picking litter in the surrounding neighbourhood.
In recent times pupils at Springfield, a member of the Surrey-based GLF Schools multi-academy trust, have also been involved in their own Ground Force project, and seen the school’s Woodland Walk nature trail revitalised and given a makeover.
“Outdoor Learning is a wonderful activity, so it’s great to see how enthusiastic the whole school is about the project,” added Miss Robinson.
“The positive impact is so much wider than people would imagine – even just moving from a classroom to outdoors changes people’s behaviour, and I’ve noticed how some children who are really quiet indoors become much more vocal and involved in the Outdoor Learning area. They’re all so enthusiastic and very respectful of the project, they’re starting to come up with lots of ideas of their own already. It’s clearly huge fun for them, and it’s also really enjoyable for me to teach.”
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