We believe that at a time when screens are becoming ever more present in our lives, our children need interaction with the outdoor environment more than ever. The school is located in a very special rural setting. This rural environment provides many individuals in our community with employment, be it as farmers or environmentalists working the land, artists who are inspired by it, or hosts to the many visitors who share it. It seems only right that we celebrate this environment with our children, helping them to learn with it and from it, and instilling in them an appreciation of the incredible place they get to call home in the foothills of the Black Mountains.
Learning outdoors enables children to engage with and explore the world, stimulating their natural curiosity and not over-burdening them with the demands that a desk-dominated environment can create. We believe this approach can be particularly helpful for children who may, for different reasons, struggle to engage in a traditional classroom setting.
With this in mind we ensure all the children at Michaelchurch get to play outside every day and we are increasingly utilising our unique outdoor classroom to deliver more outdoor-centred curriculum than most primary schools. Michaelchurch has been using Forest Schools as a learning vehicle for over six years, and has excellent and varied outdoor spaces both within its grounds and beyond for the children to explore. Our outdoor learning can range from developing understanding of the natural world, art activities, understanding safe use of tools and fire, numeracy activities, drama, literacy and more.