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.

Winter has begun
Winter has begun
Winter in Nursery  The children in Nursery have enjoyed talking about winter and looking for signs of winter. We have explored ice and had discussions about his is feels/looks and what happens when we...
Return to Forest School
Return to Forest School
Year 4  familiarised themselves with our Forest School this week. Always interesting to see how the seasons effect the site and what new things there are to investigate. No matter the age the mud...
Nesting Time
Nesting Time
Year 2 enjoyed the winter sun out in our Forest School. This time of year we are focusing on the wild birds that live around our school. Linking to the RSPB Big School Birdwatch,...
Forest Fun
Forest Fun
Reception children are really building in confidence in our Forest School, it is clear to see their growing independence when they are given a free play session. They were taken out in small groups...
Site Maintenance
Site Maintenance
As we look forward to our Christmas break it is important that we leave our Forest School in a good state of repair. It was also an opportunity for those that had mastered the...
Raising a sail.
Raising a sail.
For the last two weeks of term in DT we are looking at pulleys and linking this to our topic on Vikings, by seeing if we can create a pulley system to raise a...
Flying Foxes
Flying Foxes
Year 6 spent their Forest School session trying to work out how to make a flying fox or zip line. They are now confident in creating anchor knots in the form of a timber...
Forest Fun
Forest Fun
As this years Forest School sessions come to a close for Christmas, the children were given a free play session so we can observe what they’ve learned and what they’ve really enjoyed.  It was...
Snow Fun
Snow Fun
We were beginning our XMAS traditions of learning about the real meaning of XMAS this week and advent, and what better surprise could we have had other than SNOW! The children this week have...