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Forest School

South Bank Primary is located within the urban development of Middlesbrough but over the last 18 months the whole school community has been working hard to develop the outdoor area we have.  We have worked in partnership with the North Yorkshire Moor National Park rangers and the charity Kidz Konnekt to develop a wild flower meadow, species rich habitats 'bug hotels' and a mini family forest were we have planted trees for each of our families.  Our tree planting project was also part of The Queen's Green Canopy project which was a unique tree planting initiative that was created to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.  We have also created two sensory gardens; one located in the Early Years outdoor learning area and one located on the main field area.

 

Curriculum Excellence through Outdoor Learning

 

Our vision for our children is that they become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.  At South Bank Primary we believe learning need not take place solely within the school building and that the outdoor environment has massive potential for learning.

 

We are extremely fortunate that our school is situated with a rich urban and rural environment right on our doorsteps and our children's learning experiences are enhanced by maximising the potential of the outdoors. We recognise that the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities for all of our children from our 2 year old to our Y6s.

 

We deliver progressive outdoor learning experiences that are delivered through a combination of school-based
outdoor learning and residential programmes.

 

  • Forest School Leaders deliver our Curriculum through Outdoor Learning to the whole school
  • Our EYFS and KS1 children attend 'Adventure Week' during the summer which is a week of train journeys, visits to Saltburn beach for chips and ice creams, romping through Guisborough Forest to find a special tree to hug and smell and camping on the school field with marsh mellows on the camp fire.  During December the children visit Danby for 'One Snowy Night' where the children visit the park to discover that Percy has left a message for the children asking them to find the animals and gather them together for a cup of hot chocolate. The children follow a trail around the grounds of the visitor centre, collecting animal characters from the story and taking part in short activities related to wildlife on the way. Then they end up in a wonderful and magical Mongolian Yurt, warmed by a log burner, whilst listening to the story and sipping hot chocolate.  
  • Our KS2 children all spend half a day a week accessing a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular weekly sessions. The long-term progressive program of study supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. Whilst also developing confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
  • Our Y4 pupils enjoy a traditional camping out 1 night 2 day experience at a local scout hut in the North Yorkshire Moors
  • Our Y6 pupils enjoy a 2 night 3 day trip to London during the Summer term where they visit the National History Museum, experience a West End theatre show, visit iconic landmarks Buckingham Palace, London Eye etc and eat-out at Planet Hollywood, Bubba Gump the famous shrimp restaurant or Pizza Hut.  During the summer term they also spend a week immersed in our outdoor learning curriculum with a 2 night traditional camping adventure all of which supports the development of their:
    • confidence, by living more independently and making their own decisions
    • resilience, by having individual and group ownership for learning, community living and sharing free time 
    • a sense of adventure, by exploring new places and new environments 
    • an appreciation of the benefits to mental health and wellbeing of a healthy lifestyle through physical activity 
    • a chance to reflect on experiences and learning