Children are being encouraged to explore the great outdoors as part of Ramsgate Arts Primary’s ‘wander and wonder’ learning.
Boys and girls from across the year groups are reinforcing their learning about the importance of the natural world with activities at home and in part of the school grounds during the lockdown period.
Teacher Jess Barnes explained: “It is all about just getting out in nature and maybe noticing something different that they haven’t noticed before; for example, we ask them can you hear, see or smell anything new in your garden or outside space, and then invite them to send in a picture of them enjoying the great outdoors.”
The response has been encouraging with the children providing evidence of their adventures on walks, in the woods, under forest shelters, tending plants and looking for evidence of the green shoots of springtime, collecting buds and leaves, stocking up on materials to create ‘bug hotels’. Some younger pupils have discovered magical spots in their gardens which they tend regularly including a tiny fairy cottage.
Miss Barnes added: “Now more than ever we are spending more of our time inside. The sessions are a great way to get our children outdoors to enjoy their natural environment, this may be a garden or somewhere they visit when they go out for a walk.
“It is also a real taster to what forest school is all about, the skills they can learn will support them in all areas of their life, both at home and in school. It will enable them to build confidence, creativity, knowledge and understanding, physical skills and much more.”
Head of School Nick Budge praised the outdoor learning idea. He said: “We are also creating our own outdoor classroom spaces in an ongoing project with support from our Parent Council that will be an important part of our children’s learning pathway.
“It helps develop confidence, motivation, communication and social skills, knowledge and inspires creativity and imagination.”
The idea is based around the forest school initiative which is a Scandinavian concept of embracing the outdoors, giving children a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature and the outdoors all year round and in all weathers.
RAPS children have already held sessions at the Manor House forest school on the Quex estate at Birchington, and at the Newington copse project in Ramsgate.