At Lakeside our children have regular opportunities to explore, appreciate and learn about the natural world through our Forest School and our extensive outdoor environment. Children learn by taking part in activities that may involve an element of managed risk; by succeeding here, they develop the self-esteem and confidence that will support them throughout their lives.
At Lakeside we aim to provide a nurturing space that supports our children’s wellbeing by providing and implementing positive outdoor, child-led experiences in a natural setting. The outdoor environment develops resilience, confidence, independence, motivation, co-operation, decision-making and social skills.
The Forest School environment provides a safe place to practice these skills. It appeals to children who enjoy and are able to learn more successfully in a less formal environment. Giving all children the opportunity to excel and achieve their full potential.
Lakeside children are supported in their love of nature and the importance of showing respect for the environment.
All classes at Lakeside have access to the Forest School, some of which access the forest weekly, others who may visit on a more ‘adhoc’ basis to enhance, explore or consolidate areas of the school curriculum by being in an outdoor learning environment.
Early Years have weekly, timetabled sessions in the Forest School, these sessions happen whatever the weather (risk assessments take place to ensure the environment is safe) – “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!’
Forest School sessions are planned to involve a mixture of both adult led and child initiated activities. Activities aim to create independent learners who are inspired to try out their own ideas and explore their own interests, these may include opportunities to build shelters, using tools for whittling, studying wildlife and minibeasts, rope and string work, tying knots, art and sculpture work and storytelling.
Child led activities often support personal, social and emotional development or demonstrate the independent application of prior teaching and learning such as mini beast hunting or constructing a den.
At Lakeside we encourage children to be responsible for and respect our local area and school environment, giving them a sense of belonging and ownership of the place in which they live and learn. Meaningful activities are planned and delivered effectively and regularly to support this.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through regular opportunities for our children to discuss their learning (pupil voice) and through images and videos of our children involved in their activities and explorations.