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. Miss Rowe is supported by Mr McMann during Forest School sessions. 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: Garden Planning
Angel Court: Garden Planning
The Angel Court garden plan begins to come together. Residents and the children got some inspiration from gardening magazines, they looked for the types of plants that they liked. Then discussed with Dom and...
Let the Bird Watch Begin
Let the Bird Watch Begin
All this term, children across school have been learning about British birds in their Forest School sessions, this is linked to the RSPB Big School Birdwatch. The children have become very good at recognising ...
Angel Court Goes Potty
Angel Court Goes Potty
The children and residents started putting last weeks garden plan into action today by potting up some seeds. First they went into the garden to collect some shale to put in the bottom of the...
A Taste of the Garden
A Taste of the Garden
This week at Angel Court the Outdoor Workers, who help support Miss Rowe with the Forest School, took part in a session with Dom, our resident horticulturalist. This session we looked at the different...
Terrific Transport
Terrific Transport
In Reception this week, we have been exploring ways of transport. We started the week by reading ‘The Bus is for Us’ by Michael Rosen and discussed types of transport we are familiar with....
Our Garden Birds
Our Garden Birds
During their Forest School sessions, Reception children have been learning about the plumage of different British birds and what details to look for so that they can be identified. Telling birds apart can be...
Treats for the Birds at Angel Court
Treats for the Birds at Angel Court
Our creative sessions at Angel Court started again this week. Dom, our favourite horticulturalist, came to create some rustic bird feeders to help encourage more wild birds into the community garden. It was lovely...
It’s All About the Birds
It’s All About the Birds
This term in our Forest School sessions we are preparing for our annual survey for The RSPB Big School Bird-watch. Year 6 are busy building bird-hides. The structure of their builds is linked to...
English Outdoor Learning
English Outdoor Learning
In English, we took the opportunity to use the outdoor area to launch our new text. We are reading Skellig by David Almond and at the beginning there is a description of a garage...