At Thomas A' Becket Infant School we believe all children should have access to the outdoors on a regular basis, to play and learn with natural materials and experience the seasonal changes that affect our green spaces and environment.
We believe that children need to connect with and have access to the natural world; in order to recognise their place within nature and to grow up enjoying it, wanting to care for it and to respect it.
The outdoor learning environment at Thomas A' Becket Infant School brings learning to life and improves your child's ability to work cooperatively whilst offering the opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning. It aims to encourage motivation, a love of learning and team work. It develops self-esteem and confidence through hands-on learning experiences.
‘Encouraging and inspiring individuals through positive outdoor experiences’
In our Forest School area we provide a learning experience that works towards changing the lives of children by connecting them with outdoor environments in a unique and inspirational way. The individual child is placed at the centre of everything that we do. In an ever-changing world we aim to enable children to expand their sensory awareness and harness their potential and passion for holistic learning in a classroom without walls.
We believe, there are many benefits to being outside all year round. Children learn about nature and weather in first-hand. Why sit in a classroom learning about wind and precipitation when you can go outside and see it in action? The children get plenty of fresh air and exercise, as they are always moving (sometimes to stay warm) which is well documented to aid a young child’s ability to learn.
It is also proven that being outside boosts their immune systems and improves their physiological state, emotional well-being and mental health. Having the ECO School running alongside the Forest school adds to the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world and their place within it.
This year the children have had the amazing opportunity to observe some of the local wildlife. In early April, a family of foxes took up residence in our meadow area. The foxes built a large den and quickly welcomed six cubs into the world. Thanks to Mr Ray and his wildlife camera the children and staff have been able to safely observe these cubs growing, feeding and exploring the world around them. Recently, we have been observing the squirrels. We have been able to watch as they use their tails and unique climbing skills to find the food in the squirrel feeding station. Next year, we are hoping to further develop our outdoor learning spaces to include bird boxes and bird feeders.