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Woodland Learning


Woodland Learning

We are very fortunate at Red Oak Primary School to have a small woodland on site.  The benefits that this kind of outdoor learning environment have for the children are numerous:

  • Building confidence;
  • Working with other children in cooperative play;
  • Developing language and communication skills;
  • Extending their concentration;
  • Physical strength;
  • Gaining knowledge of and respect for the environment.

Woodland learning gives the children the opportunity to direct their own play which leads to high levels of engagement and learning.  Although we are in the early stages of developing this learning environment we have already seen accelerated progress from some individual children in the areas of language, confidence and social skills.  The children are learning to put on and take off their waterproofs and wellies, skills which we are pleased they are mastering quickly!

The nursery classes have weekly woodland sessions which last for most of the morning or afternoon session.  The first three sessions took place before half term. 

The first session was taken up with an exploration of the woodland site, learning the boundaries, and aspects of keeping themselves safe.    A small hill was the source of much pleasure during this session as the children spent a long time running down it and then climbing back up. 

During the second session some of the children had already expressed an interest in doing something particular in their play based on their previous experience.  The children had access to pots, pans, spoons, binoculars, magnifying glasses and bug collecting equipment.  Some took an interest in worms and snails, seeking them out, looking at them and talking about them.  Others preferred to continue exploring the woods, running around with their friends. 

We added ropes, pegs and fabric to the resources for the third session and spent some time exploring den building. 

We look forward to developing this learning environment over the coming year.