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.

Easter Tea Party at Angel Court
Easter Tea Party at Angel Court
Our final week at Angel Court working with Neil. The children and residents have made some beautiful creations. The final finishes were carried out, wooden hens mounted onto a grassy base and a last coat...
Botanical Drawings
Botanical Drawings
Year 6 have been learning to classify living things and look carefully at nature around them. this has also fitted in well to their class English book ‘Varmints’, which looks at the way humans...
Muddy Maths in Year 2
Muddy Maths in Year 2
Year 2 were given a challenge this week that helped them to demonstrate their understanding of mathematical vocabulary referring to size, scale and comparison. A lovely fast paced activity for a cold, soggy day....
Free play in Forest School.
Free play in Forest School.
Free play sessions in Forest School are a chance for the children to put into practice the skills that they have learnt. Play and choice are an integral part of the Forest School learning process,...
Den Building Begins
Den Building Begins
Year 6 began the week with some fantastic den building. Their first challenge, in this block of work, was to make a free-standing den. Not as easy as it may sound. Getting the initial...
Pirate play in our Forest School.
Pirate play in our Forest School.
The children had great fun this week creating Pirate Ships from our Christmas trees. The Pirates were fed sea biscuits, pirate stew and grog made in the galley. As you can see they were...
The Day the Crayons Quit Forest School
The Day the Crayons Quit Forest School
Forest School was combined with World Book Day and PSHE week for Year 3. After reading The Day the Crayons Quit in the morning, we then spent the afternoon investigating colour. The children went outside...