Learning Outside the Classroom

Green Light Trust In-School Outdoor Education Programmes

The Green Light Trust offer a bespoke Outdoor Learning package tailored to meet your school’s needs and age range.

Working alongside you we offer a wide range of educational programmes, outdoor education consultancy and school grounds development plans.

Programmes on offer include:

ECOS

A child-centred approach to teaching the curriculum in the outdoors. The focus being on each child learning to self-direct and manage their own learning by taking risks, and discovering new interests and strengths. Discussion with teachers makes sure that the curriculum links are relevant to what is being studied in class. Whilst links are primarily to the science, the regular sessions also cover areas of the History, Mathematics, English, Art and Design, Geography, Music, Design Technology as well as Physical Education. The sessions can also include developing the school grounds, building rope play structures, climbing trees, camp fire cooking, making mud sculptures, bug hunting, coppicing or planting while developing their resilience, resourcefulness and team work on the way.

“We definitely want to continue with ECOS next year. Michaela from GLT is doing a fantastic job, thorough and enthusiastic, making links to the curriculum as well as encouraging the children to develop their confidence and resilience.“

Rory Michael – Deputy Head Teacher Wells Hall Primary

 

Forest School

A wide-ranging education is essential, and in order to truly thrive in today’s world we will also need to be resourceful, self-aware, creative and able to collaborate with others. Learning through unstructured play outdoors was a natural part of childhood in the past, but our current lifestyle has meant that many of our children spend less and less time outdoors.  Based on a highly successful Scandinavian education model, Forest School is a way of enabling young people to have the opportunity to spend time in the natural environment to learn through practical involvement and free play.

Forest School Leaders are trained to give supportive guidance to children and young people, on how to use outdoor tools safely and to develop their understanding and love of the natural world.

 

“Children always come back from forest school enthused about the activities they’ve undertaken and their own personal achievements. Our aim is to have Mandy (LSA), doing solely forest school once she's trained, as we're seeing such big improvements back in the classroom with the children that go out already. "  Nicky Tyler  Head Teacher,  Westfield Primary

“The pupils at Churchill are faced with many various challenges. Forest schools has enabled them to explore a range of situations within a safe, supportive environment. They have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities presented to them and engaged well, developing new skills alongside enhancing existing ones.” Georgina Ellis  Head Teacher Churchill Special School

 

Nurture Forest School Groups 

Children who struggle in the classroom often have a very different experience when given the space and time that a small group Forest School session offers.  It can enhance and support mainstream education by focussing on the emotional, social and behavioural development of pupils.  Sessions are tailored for young people of all ages and abilities.  Pupils take part in child-centred and child-led activities, where they also learn some practical skills they may not get a chance to otherwise. Our Forest School Leaders are experienced in working with children showing challenging behaviours, while giving supportive guidance to children and young people on how to use outdoor tools safely and to develop their understanding and love of the natural world.

“The programme has been an excellent addition to our curriculum. It’s main benefit has been to help young people that ordinarily lack confidence, or find social situations and teamwork difficult, develop new skills in these areas. Pupils enjoy learning new skills, have an excellent relationship with their teacher and some are now assisting with other groups of pupils”

Andy Prestoe Head Teacher – Samuel Ward Academy

“I have seen a significant increase in children’s self-esteem. This has had a knock on effect back in the classroom with their attitude towards their academic work. They have shown increased perseverance and have a stronger determination to complete tasks, which they find difficult.” Jo Clarke, LSA, Hartest Primary

 

What difference will our programmes make?

Back in Class - School staff report greater concentration in the classroom with students being able to focus on tasks better, increasing attainment.

 

Behavioural - Those with behavioural issues in class often thrive in the forest environment when given practical tasks and responsibility. This has the knock on effect of improving their self-confidence (often at the heart of poor behaviour), leading to a better emotional state to learn when returning to the classroom, and a calmer environment for their peers. 

 

Improvements -  in ‘Problem solving’, ‘self-esteem’, ‘creativity & imagination’, ‘resourcefulness & ability to self-direct’, and ‘a Healthy respect for the environment’

 

Transition - The Year 6 teacher at Westfield Primary reported that even though their participants had chosen for a nurture group for low confidence and behaviour issues, they appeared the least anxious in the class about the transition to high school. The class teacher directly attributes this to the time spent with us in the forest.

 

Regardless of academic ability, many young people are entering higher education / the working world, without the resilience and resourcefulness to cope with daily life.

Many children struggle with the confines of traditional academic classroom learning, finding it difficult to find the relevance of what they are being taught in the classroom to 'real life'. This can lead to behavioural issues as well as poor attainment.

With more reliance on technology and as children spend less and less time outdoors, there is a well-documented increase in childhood anxiety, low self-esteem and mental health concerns alongside a greater number of  young people with  obesity, allergies and poor attention span.

 

Outdoor Education Consultancy – At Green Light Trust we have a team of qualified and experienced schools ground designers and outdoor education specialists who offer advice and development plans for your school grounds and curriculum needs.

 

Forest School Mentoring – Green Light Trust are one of the longest running training providers for Forest School in the UK. We offer one to one or small group inset mentoring as regular or one off sessions.

 

For more information and to discuss your requirements, please contact:

Mell Harrison on 01284 830829 or email mell@greenlighttrust.org

 

 

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