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.

Here come the birds…..
Here come the birds…..
Nursery children enjoyed learning about birds this week. In class we watched a short film about the types of birds we might expect to see in our community, then we listened to different bird...
Sgrafitto at Angel Court
Sgrafitto at Angel Court
This series of sessions we have been looking at nature, plants and flowers, the aim to incorporate our observations into clay, creating tiled wall panels. The residents explained to the children what their favourite...
Big School Birdwatch
Big School Birdwatch
Each year our school takes part in the RSPB Big School Birdwatch. The children really look forward to this event, which will be carried out across school. Very strong winds has postponed things, but...
Chinese Lion Dancing.
Chinese Lion Dancing.
To celebrate Chinese New Year our nursery children learned about the Chinese Lion Dance. They watched some footage filmed in Hong Kong of the incredible acrobats performing the traditional dance. They had great fun,...
Christmas tree challenge.
Christmas tree challenge.
The Christmas tree challenge encourages the children to use their imaginations, skills and wider knowledge of the world to create a tableau. They can use any resources that they might find, the only restriction...
Year 2 take on a gender challenge.
Year 2 take on a gender challenge.
Over the last few weeks children in Year 2 have been discussing similarities and differences between boys and girls. It has been interesting to hear their thoughts on whether gender affects ability and how...
Happy hens.
Happy hens.
The nursery children went into our Forest School today to learn about how to care for the school hens. Before heading outside we talked about what are the important jobs we need to do...