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23 May 2024

Today marks Outdoor Classroom Day, a global movement to make time outdoors part of every child's day and to encourage children to foster a love of nature and the outdoors.

By Mr Smith, Prep Teacher

Pupils at Birkenhead School will be joining thousands of others all around the world in taking part in activities to celebrate the great outdoors. 

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It is also a good opportunity to reflect on an amazing 10 years of developing our Outdoor Learning provision. 10 years ago little seeds were sown...let's create an after school Nature Club, let's try and get more flower beds...and 10 years later these have grown and grown.

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We created our own sensory garden, providing a space for pupils to visit and explore their senses 

  • We added a wonderful sensory path to this, using different materials the children can feel under their feet
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  • We turned an unused patch of grass into an allotment for the pupils to get stuck into and where they can grow their own fruit and vegetables and experience tasting what they have grown
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  • The pupils created their own willow dome, working together to create a lasting space for everyone to use
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  • We've added more and more areas all around the school to grow plants in, helping to attract bees, butterflies and other wildlife 
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  • We built our very own Bug Hotel to provide the perfect place for bugs, beasts and most importantly, pollinators, to stop off at 
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  • We used all of this as evidence to achieve our Level 1, 2 and now even Level 3 RHS School Garden Award. To achieve Level 3 we had to demonstrate that; we grow and can name a range of plants, we keep our plants healthy, we are planet-friendly gardeners. We are so proud of this achievement. 
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  • One of our biggest achievements was turning an unused part of the car park into our very own Forest School! With the support of staff, the wonderful grounds team and our generous PA we've added a basecamp, a shed to store resources, shelters and much, much more. We are delighted to have 3 fully trained Forest School leaders on staff and to offer this across Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep. 
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  • This year we tied all of this together, devising our very own, fully bespoke, outdoor learning programme for pupils in reception to Year 4. Pupils complete a different level each academic year - Little Acorn, Young Sapling, Mighty Oak, Park Warden and Park Keeper. Pupils complete a different number of activities each year, using the many different outdoor areas we have and build skills such as a love for nature, independent thinking, team building and much, much more. 
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Why do we do all of this? As the great Sir David Attenborough put it so well... “If children grow up not knowing about nature and appreciating it, they will not understand it, and if they don’t understand it, they won’t protect it, and if they don’t protect it, who will?”
 
We believe it is so important for all our pupils to spend time in nature, to appreciate it and to know how to care for it. 
 
We are so proud of all we have achieved in the last ten years and can't wait to see what the next 10 years bring....