Outdoor Education is now well embedded in the Blue Coat School curriculum and it is well described by the Forest School Ethos which states;
“The ethos of Forest School is based on a fundamental respect for children and young people and for their capacity to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them. It believes in children’s right to play; the right to access the outdoors (and in particular a woodland environment); the right to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world; and the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through all the challenges of social interaction, to build a resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and their potential.”
BLUE COAT GARDEN
Since the establishment of the Blue Coat School Garden in early 2014, our ability to allow children to experience outdoor learning has steadily increased. The garden has been a venue for many experiences, not least growing fruit and vegetables. Gardening has been a very popular Friday afternoon activity for our Year 5 and 6 pupils as part of their TED (Thinking, Exploring and Doing) programme and remains so.
Our Forest School can be found in a wooded area adjacent to the AstroTurf pitch. It is a haven of tranquility and a magical place for the children to enjoy. Our dedicated Forest School Leaders have lovingly transformed the area with an orchard, forest cottage, firepit, mud kitchen and also an outdoor classroom area funded by The Friends. Our youngest children in Pre-Prep regularly benefit from outdoor experiences, as well as the children in Prep who use the Forest for enrichment days and learn skills such as fire-lighting using a flint and steel and how to safely use a bow saw.
Year 3 pupils enjoy their first school residential in the familiar setting of Forest School. The children spend a day enjoying a range of outdoor activities including team games, a ‘night walk’, building bug hotels, making wild bunting and learning knife-skills and how to whittle a piece of wood before a sleepover in the Prep Houses.
In the later years between the ages of 8 and 11 years, the children venture further afield to Wales and Cheshire. There they spend a few days and nights and have the opportunity to ‘be at one’ with nature, to learn how to safely light a fire, receive wilderness first aid training and to have the chance to sleep under the stars.