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.

Angel court – Collage
Angel court – Collage
Here you can see the residents and children creating collages of birds, following the 1960’s theme, these will be hung in the community garden area to brighten things up for the upcoming Summer Fayre...
Angel court
Angel court
Work continued at Angel Court this week. The collages were finished off, ready to be framed and mounted. The cushion covers that were printed last week were given a fire retardant coating and some...
Gnomes and garden creatures
Gnomes and garden creatures
Year 1 spent a lovely afternoon finding out about the common creatures that are under Gnome protection in our gardens. Many mini-beasts were temporarily removed from their homes onto a large white sheet ready...
One-armed nest building.
One-armed nest building.
Over the last few weeks the children have been investigating Gnomes and their powers of protection, linked to this topic we get to discover in more detail the natural world around us. This week...
Gnomes and grasses.
Gnomes and grasses.
Year 1 continue to learn about the world of Gnomes and the living things they protect. So whilst Year 6 have been carrying out detailed comparison studies across our site, our younger children have...
The Gnomes are coming.
The Gnomes are coming.
Continuing with our Gnome theme, the children decided they wanted more ‘houselike’ structures. Some used our tools to create dwellings, other improvised, converting nesting boxes into a gnome village. The children also made some...
Screen printing at Angel Court
Screen printing at Angel Court
The focus of our continuing project at Angel Court is to make the residents communal area brighter and more inviting. Many of the creative activities that we have worked on together have had a...