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.

Leaf Composting in the Nursery.
Leaf Composting in the Nursery.
Nursery children continued to learn about composting this week. They headed out to the Reception garden to collect the fallen leaves, these will make a nutritious addition to their compost bin. They are already...
Marbling at Angel Court
Marbling at Angel Court
The children and residents enjoyed learning to create marbled paper this week.  Using oil based inks suspended in water, cartridge paper was laid onto the surface and peeled off, giving some really beautiful results....
Year 2 prepare for Spring
Year 2 prepare for Spring
The heavy rain brings some advantages, the soft ground being one. Year 2 took the opportunity, before this weekends predicted cold snap, to get some daffodil bulbs in the ground. Year 6 prepared the...
Nursery prepares for Spring
Nursery prepares for Spring
After all the rain it was fantastic for our nursery children to enjoy some time outside planting daffodil bulbs ready for Spring. First they found some good spots for planting that will be in...
Tipees, Tripods and Towers.
Tipees, Tripods and Towers.
Year 3 continue to hone their construction skills in our Forest School. Following our STEM week tower challenge, the children were asked to look at the world around them as an architect or an...
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...