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Outdoor Learning

At St Nicholas School we are lucky enough to have extensive grounds at our disposal as well as having access to natural spaces nearby. Teachers are encouraged to make use of these grounds when delivering the curriculum and Forest school sessions run regularly for our younger school members. In addition, across the school all children go on school trips and there are several residential opportunities organised by the school for pupils at Key Stage Two.

Our Aims


At St Nicholas School we aim for every child to …

  • Have experienced a wide range of outdoor learning experiences which foster the development of the ‘whole child’, particularly; their spiritual, mental, creative, social, emotional, physical and moral development and thus impact on an individual’s personal growth and mental well-being.


  • Increase their self -confidence, self -esteem and levels of resilience whilst partaking in first hand learning experiences out of doors.


  • Develop their teamwork, problem-solving and risk management skills in order that they may successfully tackle new challenges in later life.


  • Show a growing respect for the natural world and the creatures who live there.


  • Have developed a positive attitude to outdoor learning, challenge and adventure enabling them to wish to continue to spend time out of doors into adulthood.


  • And have had opportunities to feel the joy, awe and wonder the natural world can evoke.

Teaching and Learning


At St Nicholas all staff adhere to the agreed Teaching and Learning Policy. In addition, the following is in place:


  • Outdoor lessons are an integral part of the EYFS curriculum with children spending time out of doors in most weathers across the seasons
  • Each year group from Reception to Year Two undertake a Forest School session termly with the support of a Forest School leader in the planning of the sessions. These may be on or off site.
  • Each year group across the school to have at least two outdoor activities, other than PE run by their class teacher which links to curriculum or class needs. This might be a part or full lesson depending on the activity.
  • Each year group having least one outing year to a visit a venue offsite which supports and extends classroom learning.
  • Children in Key Stage Two have an annual residential which incorporates and promotes outdoor learning.

School Overview


Forest School Lessons and Outdoor Adventurous Activities


Year Group

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term



Out in The Dark

An Introduction to Fire Safety

Minibeast madness!

Year One


A Christmas Adventure!

Making a Group Fire

Exploring Trees

Year Two

Five Minute Fires

Help the Easter Bunny Find His Eggs!

What is a Nature Reserve?

Year Three


Sayers Croft


Overnight Camp

Year Four

High Ashurst/ Get Set 4 PE- OAA unit



Year Five



Isle of White

Get Set 4 PE- OAA unit

Year Six





Outdoor Activities to Support Class Learning


Year Group

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term



Exploring the School Grounds

Autumn Fun

Exploring Winter

Leap into Spring

Growing Plants

Observing Minibeasts


Fairy Fun

Wet and Wild Day

Year One

Environmental Sounds and textures

Seasons -Autumn

Road Safety

Seasons -Winter/Spring

Planet Orb

Naming Common Plants

Year Two

Materials Everywhere

Hot and Cold places around our school

What lives in our school grounds?

Growing plants in different conditions

Zambian Games

Year Three

Andy Goldsworthy -Sculptures

Mammoth Hunt


Exploring Shadows

Standing Stones

Banksy- Graffiti Art

Investigating how fertilizers affect plant growth

Carnival Time

Year Four

Get Set 4 PE- OAA unit

River Safety

Freezing and Melting

Code Making with Runes

Sound Investigation

Protecting our Environment- Litter Survey


Year Five

Shadow Clocks

Parachute designs


Exploding Volcanos

Get Set 4 PE- OAA unit

Growing plants from parent plants.

Year Six

Place Value Out of doors

Investigating Pulse Rates

Managing Stress by using the out of doors- SATS Picnic

Science Fair for rest of school

EYFS and Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2

Together we learn,together we grow, with faith, love and God beside us