Outdoor Learning Programme

Outdoor Learning at Boundary Oak is a specially devised programme that celebrates the pleasure that comes from nature, wildlife, horticulture and caring for livestock, whilst reinforcing the responsibility that pleasure brings.

Our school has more than 30 acres of beautiful, rural grounds set in the South Downs National Park and we have always encouraged pupils to enjoy being outdoors in this idyllic spot. Outdoor Learning allows them to experience a rich and wide-ranging curriculum within the school and also as part of our outreach programme, creating a passion for learning through practical enjoyment. The children learn about environmental conservation and are inspired by our teachers and experienced forest leaders to appreciate the outdoor world around us. The children readily understand that science is not just a classroom activity, it is brought to life in every aspect of their lives.

Topics include education from wildlife and birds to the theory of ecology and hands-on experience of dairy farming. They develop team skills as they work together on our wild meadow garden, pond area and vegetable gardens.

In Pre-Prep, pupils experience a range of activities such as: making jam and syrup using berries and rose-hips that they have foraged from the school grounds; making bug hotels and studying the hotels guests; creating model homes using natural resources and building miniature clay people; building bird wings and making nests whilst exploring bird names, calls, their diet and migration patterns; building bird houses and putting feed out for them in winter.

As the pupils move into the Prep and Senior school, they build survival shelters and cook freely outside; they partake in winter greenhouse planting from seeds and cuttings; they are involved in water sourcing, filtering and purification; they design and build miniature landscapes and nature trails; they control the Eco Brick project, advertising the control and collection of waste in order to build bricks which are used in actual construction projects later in the year; they are involved in foraging and plant identification, animal track identification and game butchery.

Our Outdoor Learning syllabus allows children to get out into the fresh air and experience the outdoors during structured lesson time every week. Outdoor Learning runs through the school to Year 8 and is based upon three core principals of Ecology, Horticulture and Bushcraft. Children get hands on with nature and learn the lessons that our environment can teach us.

Paul Bristow, Outreach and Outdoor Education Co-ordinator

In 2019, Boundary Oak School became the first school in Hampshire to be awarded â€˜Wilder School’ status by the Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust. 

We are proud to have been shortlisted for the ISA Award for Sustainability and Environmental Education.

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