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Why Outdoor Learning is important at Carlton

* Outdoor Learning can provide a dramatic contrast to the indoor classroom. Direct experience outdoors is more motivating and has more impact and credibility. In Outdoor Learning participants learn through what they do, through what they encounter and through what they discover. Participants learn about the outdoors, themselves and each other, while also learning outdoor skills.

* Outdoor learning readily develops the learning skills which are core to all our learning at Carlton School.

* Environmental issues are of increasing importance in the political agenda, yet many people live an urban life which does not allow them to experience the relationship between their actions and the elements which support life on earth.

* Outdoor Learning allows participants to develop values and opinions that are informed by first-hand experience of the natural world. It can help to bring many school subjects alive while also providing experiential opportunities for fulfilling the National Curriculum aim "to enable pupils to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities, to manage risk and to cope with change and adversity."

At Carlton Primary we are lucky enough to have quite an extensive outdoor area for learning.  We have an outdoor classroom in the playground and we also have a wildlife area.  Our wildlife area is in zones with sensory plants, a bug hunting area, a wildflower meadow, a bird feeding area, a dipping pond and a fire pit with a large seating area with enough space for a whole class.  The outdoors are used for learning in areas directly linked to the curriculum and also for developing a range of outdoor skills such as;

  • Art in nature
  • Music in nature
  • Den building
  • Whittling
  • Knots and Structures
  • Animal Identification
  • Pond Dipping
  • Plant Growth
  • Fire Skills
  • Caring for the Environment

We also work very closely with our local community and we have helped with a joint project to develop the use of a community orchard and adjacent woodland.  Ouzelwell Orchard is now fully accessible for children and families to enjoy and there are plans for an outdoor classroom to be installed into the woodland area.  This is a very exciting project and our children love to go and visit the woods.  Ouzelwell Orchard now has its very own logo designed by children from Carlton Primary.