Enrichment and Outdoor Learning
We aim to offer our children frequent opportunities to take part in a range of rich and varied experiences.
These opportunities enable them to learn more about themselves and others, their community, and the wider world.
We plan in opportunities for our children to learn in the outside areas of our school grounds, as well as opportunities for them to learn about the outdoors. Children’s enjoyment and appreciation of the natural world is developed through taking part in activities and visits to local areas such as the Hurst, Port Meadow and Wytham Woods. Our children also benefit from visits to the many exciting opportunities provided in the city, such as visits to the Oxford Museums or the Arboretum. Children in Year 4 and Year 6 take part in residential trips which involve team building and outdoor pursuit activities that encourage children to build self-esteem, develop problem solving skills and resilience, while having new experiences and physical challenges.
As well as visits outside of school, we regularly organise for visitors to come into school to support children’s learning and to help them gain a broader view of the world and of different pursuits. We have had scientists working with the children during science week, enjoyed concert level performances and workshops from musicians and singers and inspiring hands-on eco/recycling group workshops.
All children in Reception and Year 1 take part in Forest School sessions once a week across 2 terms.
These sessions are usually held in Wytham Woods. Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
Forest School has six principles which we follow during our sessions:
- Regular sessions to allow for planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing to take place over time.
- Forest School takes place in a woodland to support the development between the learner and the natural world.
- Forest School aims to promote holistic development, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves.
- Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who maintain and develop their professional practice.
- Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to support development and learning.
Local Environment Activities
Our children feel passionately about their local environment and are very motivated to care for it and imporve it. Here are some examples of activities that they have been involved in.
Eco Club and Tree Planting
Representatives from classes 1-6 form our school Eco Club. They work on issues that are important to them, raising awareness within the school through assemblies and events. Recently our Eco club has worked on a tree planting project which included each class planting their own ‘class tree’ on our school grounds as well as a group of children helping to plant trees in the local area.
Oxclean litter picking
Wolvercote children took part in the OxClean Spring Clean litter picking event. Children in the younger years focussed on cleaning up the school grounds, including litter that had blown into the school field. Children in the older years focussed on clearing litter from the local area.
See the link below to watch our Eco Agents explain why idling cars are bad for the environment. (Please note- it's Wolvercote children, not Windmill as reported!)
Learning how to care for pets in school
We have enjoyed a number of school pets such as hampsters, guinea pigs and chickens. We have also loved our visiting 'reading dog' who listens to some of the children read!
Carbon neutral plans
The governors are currently investigating ways that the school can move towards being carbon neutral.