Sutton V.A. Lower School

Sutton Lower School

Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School

Outdoor and Active Learning

Over recent years staff have received training and developed a programme of study to complement and enhance the existing EYFS and National Curriculum, within a natural space, to focus on developing pupils’ personal, social and emotional life skills through learner-led, nature based learning.

The concept of our outdoor learning programme is founded on the work of various educational theorists including Piaget, Maria Montessori and John Amos Cormenius, who investigated the role of play, nature and the environment on the development of positive learning outcomes in children. (see research: ‘Impacts of Long Term Forest School Programmes on Children’s Resilience, Confidence and Wellbeing’ Sarah Blackwell)

We seek to deliver a child-centred programme of study for learning outdoors which reflects the following learning approaches, as outlined in Sarah Blackwell’s research:

  • o Inquiry based emergent and experiential learning
  • o Play Based Learning
  • o Story Telling
  • o Loose Parts (This technique basically involves assembling detachable, uniquely natural materials into different shapes and structures in the woodland setting)

To extend this, staff have incorporated ‘Active Learning’ within all units of work, across all subjects with a particular focus on Maths and English. Active Learning is founded on the Teach Active resource. Contributing to the government’s recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day, the resource has been proven to improve attitudes and attainment in Maths and English, whilst also improving children’s health and wellbeing.