St Mary's

Catholic Primary School

Being a steward at St Mary's

Outdoor Learning


Why do we use the outdoor environment to support learning?

We use our outdoor environment to support the curriculum through ad hoc and timetabled blocks of activities. Through this we aim to provide children with hands on experiences that enable them to:


  • See themselves as part of God’s creation with a responsibility to care for and treasure the world around them.
  • Engage with the natural environment experiencing the seasons and the changing natural world.
  • Develop an understanding of themselves, their relationships with others and how this relates to the school values and successful learning skills.
  • Experience learning activities that, where possible, support and enhance the planned curriculum by revising, revisiting or giving it additional depth to class based learning.

We also recognise that many of our children do not get the equal opportunities outside school to experience the outdoors and nature.


What we hope to achieve:

Our goal is that through our three blocks of outdoor learning sessions each year children will have:


  • A feeling of ownership in relation to their school environment. This is achieved through the children directly contributing to the development and care of the school grounds.
  • Developed co-operation and communication skills through team work and personal reflection
  • Developed mental and physical resilience through challenging activities and through working in all weathers
  • Enjoyed hands on experiences learning outdoors which will add to their understanding and learning of a wide variety of curriculum areas
  • Developed imagination and creativity through exploration of the outdoors
  • An understanding of nature, the world around them, growing plants and vegetables

Because many of our activities develop the children's understanding of themselves and their relationships with others, the school deploys staff with specific skills in THRIVE, Forest School and personal and social development to support bespoke timetabled sessions