The Great Outdoors

“The best classroom and the widest cupboard is roofed only by the sky” – Margaret McMillan

Our Outdoor Classroom

Our award winning outdoor classroom provides the same wealth and richness of opportunity as indoors – only on a bigger and more active scale! Playing outdoors is essential for young children, especially boys, not just for their growing bodies, but for the development of their minds too. Outdoors they have opportunities for investigation, exploration, for creative experiences, for working together in imaginative play, for sharing and co-operation. We have waterproof suits and wellies for everyone, so that weather is never a problem for us.

Our Community Garden

As an extension to all the other learning opportunities that we offer the children at Appletree, we are currently working with Willow Lane School to develop a Community Garden and this includes a Woodland Area. Through experiencing learning in a safe and supportive woodland environment, children gain a sense of value for the wider, natural world, a sense of responsibility for their environment, in addition to self-esteem, confidence and physical and emotional strength.

We want our children to

  • feel safe, secure and happy in the outdoor environment
  • develop a sense of care and thoughtfulness for the woodland environment
  • become confident, independent and strong
  • have time to develop their exploratory and creative drive . . . to be inquisitive
  • to ask questions and find their own answers . . . create their own meaning

As adults we need to

  • be sympathetic and responsive to the children’s needs and interests
  • listen to children’s thoughts about their experiences in the wood
  • observe how children play and learn outdoors
  • be thoughtful about how we might offer skills and resources to support children’s learning and interests