Castle Wood

Together, children first...

Learning outside the classroom

Learning outside the classroom is an integral part of everyday learning at Castle Wood school. Pupils have daily opportunities to rehearse the learning from the classroom and transfer their skills and knowledge into other environments. We believe that the ability of pupils being able generalise their knowledge from the classroom into another learning environment means that pupils have gained knowledge and skills and that learning has progressed beyond rote and become intrinsic. For many of our pupils we find that they have difficulty transferring learning from one place to another and learning outside the classroom provide a perfect opportunity to rehearse this.

Learning outside the classroom at Castle Wood School happens in many ways and locations. Each opportunity is carefully planned to meet the individual pupil need. Every class has access to an outdoor learning space attached to the classroom. There is a playground, forest school, sensory garden, swimming pool, soft play, sensory room, hall, trampoline room and sensory integration spaces. Pupils also have planned opportunities to access a MILE walk, access the local community and travel beyond that based upon the pupil needs and topic that they are learning about.

Learning outside the classroom is a vital skill for everyday life and provides many pupils with coping strategies and life long learning that they will use as they get older. It will teach pupils how to transition safely and calmly. How to walk and safety in the outdoors. How to communicate their needs and wants and rules and routines for social situations. The pupils will practice and rehearse these skills slowly until they are able to manage 1 situation and then have the opportunity to transfer these skills into a new situation.

Learning outside the classroom provides the pupils with a wealth of opportunity to access all aspects of the curriculum whilst not in the classroom. It also provides many pupils with space, time and freedom to move to enable learning to take place in a different way from the classroom. There are also many mental health benefits of not being in the classroom as being in the outdoors naturally boosts serotonin levels which enables our pupils to be happy, relaxed, active and engaged learners.