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The Learning Curve

Mougins School: School in the Woods
  • Primary Matters
Hannah Leach

Year 2 went on a hunt this week to find special sticks that they will transform into a magic wand and help them write a wizard spell! 


What is ‘School in the Woods’?

‘School in the Woods’ is an opportunity for children and staff to take their learning and routine outside of the classroom and out into the woods that surround our campus. Every week, each class from Year 1, 2 and 3 will venture out into the nearby woodland and make this natural environment their place of learning. In doing so, children and staff are given the opportunity to develop what is being taught in class while profiting from this natural environment. 

 “The classroom of the future should not be limited to a classroom at all– an ‘excellent’ curriculum would go beyond the traditional boundaries and offer real-world learning experiences outdoors.” Taking Learning Outdoors–LTS2007
What are the benefits of ‘School in the Woods’? 

There are huge benefits in providing children with opportunities to have regular access to outdoor learning. Many studies have shown that being out in the open air has a noticeable impact on our health and well-being. It has proven to help elevate stress and anxiety and improve student engagement, even once they have returned back to the classroom. 

More reasons to get outdoors include: 

Outdoor learning exposes children to new experiences, which can help them gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Outdoor learning is a great way to support the development of key skills, such as problem solving, resilience, confidence, patience and independence.

Outdoor learning facilitates teamwork activities, which develops key communication and social skills, such as turn-taking and listening to others.

Outdoor learning offers an alternative from the usual classroom environment. It provides a more informal environment where certain children may feel more comfortable expressing themselves. 

… outdoor learning may be particularly beneficial for children who struggle to maintain concentration in more formal classroom settings and actively seek out ways to introduce direct experience into their learning.”

Waite, S. (2010) Losing our way?: declining outdoor opportunities for learning for children aged between 2 and 11. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning. 10 (2), 111- 126.

It is important to remember that “Children still need a childhood with dirt, mud, puddles, trees, sticks and tadpoles”(Brooke Hampton). This is more apt than ever in today’s digital age. In a generation where children are motivated by technology, by simply going ‘into the wild’, they are forced to rely on their natural curiosity and take time to appreciate the beauty and wonder that nature has to offer. 

Hannah Leach

Year 2 Teacher

  • Primary