Outdoor Classroom Day
Today is Outdoor Classroom Day and here at St Andrew’s Prep we believe time spent outdoors is as important for children’s learning and development as learning to read and write.
Gareth Jones, Headmaster says, “Learning outside engages and excites the children in ways that, sometimes, cannot be achieved in the classroom. In addition, outdoor learning and play improves children’s health, wellbeing and happiness, a concept known as ‘blue health’; and this is where the St Andrew’s Prep school facilities and its location by the sea are so key as it is a well-documented fact that happy, healthy pupils perform better in school and in life and will be less prone to anxiety and stress.”
Armelle Wilkinson, Head of Nursery and Pre-Prep comments, “Every pupil in the school, from Nursery through to Year 8 benefits from their daily doses of our beautiful school fields during sport lessons, break times and outdoor learning sessions. In addition, our Pre-Prep and Nursery pupils also gain from regular visits to our hidden gem of a Forest School. Here, our fully qualified Forest School teachers cover the curriculum and are also able to teach crucial life skills including problem-solving and social interaction while conveying use of tools, fire-building and knot-tying in an exciting and inspiring environment. Children who may feel inhibited by the school curriculum, are shy or perhaps lack self-esteem or self-confidence, can thrive in the forest. They come into their own and teachers can have a real insight of their true potential. They can be creative, show leadership skills, show independence and responsibility for their learning and let their imaginations run wild.”
Catherine Hart, Head of Juniors continues “Together with our fully qualified Beach School practitioners, our Juniors head down for their weekly Beach School sessions come rain or shine. The children adore the opportunity to scour and explore the ever-changing shoreline which they find exciting and inspirational. The sessions help them to understand, appreciate and care for the natural environment whilst they work together and improve their team working skills. And, whilst they are having fun, we can cover every aspect of the curriculum, from maths to poetry to art.”
Paul Shouksmith, Deputy Head, Academic says, “Children in Years 5 to 8 have three sessions of outdoor sport a week but can also take part in a variety of outdoor activities before and after school and on Saturday mornings. The St Andrew’s Prep Adventurers learn how to build fires and how to orienteer and on Saturday mornings some of pupils improve their sailing skills while others take part in athletics, tennis and cricket with another group strolling through the Sussex countryside.”