Outdoor & Community Learning

At Harlow Green, we have developed an environment and curriculum which takes children beyond the classroom and places them into their natural environment as well as their community.

Forest School

Harlow Green is different from most schools in that it is a Forest School.  The Forest School approach provides a hands-on, practical education in our outdoor environment. This part of the curriculum is managed by a qualified Forest School Leader – Miss Rowe – who continuously maintains and develops her professional practice. The Forest Education Community has put together the guiding principles for Forest Schools. These principles were agreed to ensure good practice across the country.

  • Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
  • It takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • We use a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
  • Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • It offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Our approach at Harlow Green is centred on enabling children to develop a sense of independence and self-motivation, they become more courageous and can learn to realistically assess situations, are more self-reliant and opportunistic. This approach particularly supports the development of self-esteem and self-confidence. The focus in Forest School and Outdoor Learning is on short achievable tasks which then build in complexity based on observations of the children’s needs and interests.

Community Work

Developing children’s understanding about their local community and providing the opportunity to positively impact upon it is essential in developing the future generation.  Through the regular curriculum but also through our outdoor curriculum, children are involved in projects which allows them to work within the local community in a variety of ways and to actively engage within it.

The invisible assault course.
The invisible assault course.
This week has been cold and soggy at Harlow Green so the children were set a task to keep themselves moving, but would also develop their communication skills. The challenge was to set up...
Autumn visits to Angel Court.
Autumn visits to Angel Court.
Over the last term we have been continuing our visits to Angel Court Residential Home. The children love to share stories about our hens here at Harlow Green, many of the residents remember helping...
River of Life: Bridge building.
River of Life: Bridge building.
This weeks construction challenge was to build a bridge for a bottle. The children were given three lengths of string for use if they chose. They could use only natural sticks, nothing man-made. The...
Year six take over Forest School.
Year six take over Forest School.
Our Year 6 children are now very experienced in the practical skills of Forest School, they have worked hard to develop positive communication strategies and have a confidence and sense of ownership when working...
Musical fun in the Autumn sun.
Musical fun in the Autumn sun.
Our Forest School came alive with the sound of music this week. Inspired by the children, who can often be found banging out rhythms on the odd tree stump. The children were given free...
The river of Life: River beds.
The river of Life: River beds.
Year 5 spent a lovely afternoon planning and creating their own river beds. They had a variety of materials to choose from: rock, wood, soil, clay, sand, and any other natural materials that they...
The Harvest continues.
The Harvest continues.
The time has come to clear the poly tunnel ready for some winter planting. The children worked hard collecting tomatoes and cucumbers, we had a bumper crop. The fruits were delicious. The pots were...
The River of Life: Tripod lashing.
The River of Life: Tripod lashing.
Continuing our investigations around the shaduf mechanism, the children were taught how to create a tripod lashing. This follows their reflection on the previous session where the main problem was creating a secure and...