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.

National Nursery Rhyme Week
National Nursery Rhyme Week
This week, the children in Reception have been taking part in National Nursery Rhyme Week.  This year, the suggested rhymes were B-I-N-G-O, The Big Ship Sails on the Alley, Alley, o, Twinkle, Twinkle, 12345...
What Makes a nest?
What Makes a nest?
A wet and woolly day for Year 1. They are enjoying learning about construction in nature, how animals keep themselves safe, what materials they might need, what shapes we might see. Thinking about animals...
Winter is Coming
Winter is Coming
In their Forest School session Reception children were learning about the way that different animals behave as the seasons change. Squirrels hiding their nuts to ensure food through the winter and which animals might...
Here come the Hens
Here come the Hens
Our hens came to Early Years today for a visit. Due to Avian Flu restrictions they can’t currently free range, as they usually do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get out and about....
Great Fires Burning
Great Fires Burning
Learning about fires is particularly important at this time of year. Year 2 children have been learning about the Great Fire of London, in class they created their own houses using cardboard boxes. They...
Forest School Sparklers
Forest School Sparklers
Teaching our children about the wonder of fire is an important part of Forest School life and is particularly relevant at this time of the year. We start with good safe practice entering and...
A Bonfire of Leaves
A Bonfire of Leaves
Our Nursery children had fun in the Autumn sun during their Forest School session. Their first challenge was to collect yellow leaves, they found some really brightly coloured ones. Then they moved onto red...
Timber! Why knot?
Timber! Why knot?
Year 4 started their Forest School sessions this term with some knot work. Working in pairs creating timber hitches to haul heavy logs. This is a really useful skill that will enable them to...