Learning Outside The Classroom

The LOtC Gold Mark
In May 2018 Whaddon School was awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Gold Mark. We were awarded this after being assessed by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.
According to the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom:
LOtC Mark (Gold) recognises exemplary LOtC provision in schools and indicates that a school is a leader in ensuring that all pupils have access to frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom.
Read more by clicking the document below. 
Why LoTC?
A survey of 2,000 parents in United Kingdom finds that nearly three quarters of children are spending less than one hour outside every day.

'Active play is the natural and primary way that children learn. It is essential to their healthy growth and progress, particularly during periods of rapid brain development.'                              
Sir Ken Robinson

There is much research showing that we spend too little time in the natural world and it has had grave effects on our mental and physical health. Study after study suggests that spending time outside reduces stress for children and adults.

LoTC Links
 Forest School
At Whaddon we have a well established Forest School run by our excellent Forest School Leader, Miss Swain. All children take part in a Forest School session once per week. 
October 2019
Both Hedgehog and Squirrel classes have had a very outdoorsy start to the year. The photos below show Hedgehog class on their Autumn walk; we decided to face the rain (with the appropriate clothing!) and see what we could find. We spotted a field that had been harvested, lots of leaves falling from the trees and puddles. A LOT of puddles. The children noticed how the air felt and how the wind was blowing the trees. They collected autumnal treasure and enjoyed taking shelter under a large tree. 
July 2019
The whole school received an invitation to spend the morning learning about Mr Gurney's farm. We popped next door to the field (where the bullocks had been temporarily moved) to meet Mr Gurney. First, the children saw some sheep being sheared and learnt about what their wool was used for. Then they were introduced to three tractors - one 50 years old, one 25 years old and one that was only a year old. Mr Gurney showed the children how the new tractor could drive itself - they were amazed! 

Then the children had a tractor-and-trailer ride around the farm fields, meeting and learning about bullocks and sheep on the way. After that, Tom took them into the middle of a crop to learn about worms and their importance to the ecosystem. 
The children had a wonderful morning and came back buzzing with excitement. Thank you to Mr Gurney and all of his helpers!
May 2019
Wild Things
Year 2 heard the story 'Where the Wild Things Are.' They travelled to the land where the wild things are to observe the creatures there. Upon returning, the children re-created the creatures and the land using clay and outdoor materials. Following this they wrote non-fiction reports on their creatures. 

Outdoor developments
Following an impressive fund-raising mission by Miss Swain, the children and the parents of Whaddon School, there is now a beautiful tree house installed at Forest School. The children were so excited to find it when they returned after the Easter holidays. One day, when the younger trees have grown, it will be entirely concealed by woods!

A further development has been a covered area in the KS1 outdoor area. This means that the children will be able to go outside to learn even when the weather tries to prevent them. It also means the children's wellies have a new home!


April 2019
A visit to see some lambs

On a rainy Tuesday morning the whole of Whaddon School set out across the fields to visit Mrs Kirby’s farm. Mrs Kirby had kindly invited us to see her lambs—she has over 80! A huge ‘thank you’ to Mrs Kirby from all of the staff and children for having us to visit!


Here is what Harrison had to say:
We walked to the Kirby’s farm in the rain. We had a lot of gear! The lambs were tiny and white. It was special to me. I liked the tiny lambs. The lambs made a cute sound and they were so fluffy. There was hay everywhere! We also walked a looooooong way back. 



February 2019

A Treehouse!
For a while, the children have been saying that they’d like a treehouse at Forest School. Finally, that dream is becoming a reality! Using your kindly donated fruit and vegetables, the children packed some beautiful hampers and created eye-catching posters. The sale on the playground was a very busy and happy occasion.

The children have also been enthusiastically selling raffle tickets this week. With the funds from these and your generous donations on ‘Justgiving’ we have reached our fundraising goal. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has supported us in fundraising for the Forest School Treehouse. We are all very much looking forward to seeing it begin to take shape.

Miss Swain