The Outdoor Education Programme
Visits are tailored by the Education Team to the requirements of each school – but here is a brief overview of the comprehensive range of learning activities which can be offered :
- Farming/agriculture/where food comes from
- Sensory trail/earthwalk
- Habitat trail, pond dipping, mini-beast hunt
- Maths trail
- Field studies
- River study
- Team building
- Comparative local area studies
- Literacy & Numeracy
- Family learning
- Teacher training and personal development
There are dedicated areas of woodland on the ECT estates used for regular Forest School sessions. Forest School is a way of incorporating outdoor learning experiences for children and young people into their normal school life; children spend regular sessions in an area of woodland that is natural, safe and accessible, working to their usual curriculum but in an outdoor setting.
Forest School allows children:
- The time and space to explore and learn at their own pace
- To develop a relationship with their outdoor environment through frequent and regular experiences throughout the year
- To use their own inherent individual style of learning
- To develop their own self-esteem and confidence
- To learn to work as part of a team
Forest School offers children:
- Opportunities to make their own assessments of risk
- Opportunities to develop thinking, speaking and problem solving
- Opportunities to build on their innate motivation and positive attitude to learning
- Opportunities to help them understand, appreciate and care for the natural environment
Led by qualified Forest School Leaders, sessions are offered as weekly, monthly or termly visits by children of all ages.
On the Gloucestershire estates, residential visits can be arranged. In conjunction with the visiting school, each visit is individual to the children taking part and activities are planned accordingly.
The Education Team offer teachers and practitioners the use of the Outdoor Education Centres for teacher training sessions – using the Education Team or bringing in other trained personnel. Please contact the Head of Education to discuss professional development days further.
The safety and well-being of every individual visiting the Trust’s estates as part of an outdoor learning visit is paramount in the planning of all visits.
- All sites used for education have no public access, and are maintained by ECT staff to the highest standard; every area is individually checked immediately before each visit
- A risk assessment is compiled for every visit by the Education Officers in conjunction with the school involved
- Toilet and hand washing facilities are available at the outdoor education centres and follow the H&S Executive guidelines
- All teachers are encouraged to meet the Education Officers and become familiar with the sites before the school visit