Forest School

Outdoor Learning at Lobley Hill Primary School

At Lobley Hill our school grounds provide a wealth of opportunity for children to explore, investigate, take risks, develop skills and build resilience. Outdoor learning is unique and special, offering our children chances to make connections with nature, and make sense of the world around them. Our school grounds are a multi-faceted learning resource, and offer excellent opportunities for formal, informal learning, and play. At Lobley Hill we recognise the importance of frequent and regular opportunities to learn and explore in the outdoor environment. Outdoor experiences promote mental, social and emotional well-being by helping to reduce stress, increase self-esteem and confidence. It develops emotional resilience and builds children’s ability to manage risks and deal with uncertainty.

At Lobley Hill Primary School outdoor learning is woven through our 4 curriculum drivers:

  • Health and Well Being

Learning outside the classroom encourages the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promotes a sense of well-being. Children need healthy levels of vitamin D and serotonin for mental health development and this is provided by natural light. Our outdoor spaces and allotment offer a great environment to teach the importance of nutrition, as well as the benefits that come with leading a happy healthy and well balanced lifestyle. Gardening is a great way to boost self-esteem, stimulate independent thought, and increase engagement levels.

  • Locality and Community

Outside our school grounds we explore the local community and the natural landscapes that surround our school. With visits to Watergate Park, Beggars Wood, Washingwell Woods and the wider localities of Gateshead and Newcastle, we endeavour to develop our children’s understanding of how their community has been shaped and formed over time. In turn this fosters a sense of place, feeling of belonging and inclusion. Parental involvement enables us to continue the development of our allotment and add improvements to our school grounds.

  • Creative and Active Learning

Giving children daily access to our stimulating outdoor environment, develops minds and bodies enabling our children to learn through play and real experiences. Opportunities for outdoor learning exist within and across all curriculum areas, enhancing learning and consolidating knowledge that has taken place indoors. Our outdoor spaces provide a dynamic, flexible and versatile place where our children can choose, create, change, and be in charge of their play environment. It also underpins the development of creativity and the dispositions for learning.

  • Aspiration and Inspiration

Learning outdoors at Lobley Hill provides children with opportunities to improve communication skills, collaborate in team work, and problem solve. Outdoor learning promotes life- long learning and develops critical thinking skills. Research, communication, action planning, and decision-making skills are developed outdoors, equipping our children to be active citizens in future life.