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.

Tipees with tripods.
Tipees with tripods.
Today tripod lashings were introduced to Year 3, bringing in more challenge to their tipee building. Being able to complete a tight fastenings will allow the children to be even more creative in their structure...
Ceramics at Angel Court.
Ceramics at Angel Court.
For the next 5 weeks the children and Angel Court residents will be working with an artist focusing on ceramics. This week we got to know everybody and started to plan the theme for...
The tipee build continues …
The tipee build continues …
Making tipees is a fantastic skill that encourages to children to understand strong structure.  Working out how best to interlock the branches, gives stability and coverage to the outer walls of the tipee.  As...
Tremendous Tipees
Tremendous Tipees
In Year 2 the children created some tremendous tipees for their squirrel friend. In class we looked at some photos of different communities around the world who live in dwellings like these, continuing our...
Angel Court – Woodworking friends
Angel Court – Woodworking friends
Angel Court visits have restarted, so wonderful to see the residents again. Neil, a woodworking artist, is delivering the sessions. Everybody was involved in sanding the working parts for the wooden toys that we...
Building a shaduf
Building a shaduf
Today Year 3 continued their investigations into building a ‘water moving device’ as one of the children described it. They are beginning to show a good understanding of the value of communication and planning,...
Last week at Angel Court.
Last week at Angel Court.
The children took these photos at our last summer session at Angel Court. We’ve had such a wonderful time and are always made to feel so welcome. Here you can see the children preparing...