Part of the Glyn Academies Trust

Outdoor Learning

"The best classroom and the richest classroom is roofed only by the sky."(M. Mc Millan)
At Hillcroft, we intend for every child to experience a high quality and bespoke Outdoor Learning curriculum, which aims to strengthen and deepen their understanding across many subjects as well as embed discrete Outdoor Learning skills.  At the centre of our intent, is the exposure and teaching about natural environments to enable children to gain an understanding and respect for the natural world and all that which lives within it.

Throughout their time at Hillcroft, every class has at least one, designated Outdoor Learning lesson each week.  Lessons are planned to enrich and enhance the children's in-school learning experiences as well as teach six explicit Outdoor Learning skills.  Named our 'branches' of Outdoor Learning, these are:

  1. Positive Attitudes,
  2. Communication and Collaboration, 
  3. Making Learning Connections,
  4. Using tools, equipment and then Environment effectively, 
  5. Managing risks
  6. Care for the Environment, plants and animals

These 'branches' run through each lesson, as well as having a half-term focus each year.  They will give the children the opportunity to develop their imagination and creativity through exploration of the outdoors as well as developing resilience through challenging activities and working in all weathers.  Pupils will also develop co-operation skills through teamwork.  Children will leave Hillcroft, having a good understanding of nature, the world around us, growing plants and vegetables and will have contributed to the development of our school grounds and looking after the world around us.  

Pupil Voice:

I enjoy making things out of natural materials and seeing how they join together.  I liked drawing using natural materials and painting using natural dyes to link to the Stone Age.  It was really cool to make a story or our own language for the Stone Age as you could form it however you wanted. Phoebe, Year 3

I like Outdoor Learning because we get to do fun things like colour leaves, getting different leaves, making animals out of leaves and sticks and grass.  I made a horse.

Zahra, Year 1

Look at what we made. A pirate ship! We can use that for the flag. (pointing to some poles). I love learning outside!

Asher, Reception



Progression of Skills and Knowledge:

At Hillcroft Primary School, we follow the National Curriculum.  From this, we ensure that skills and knowledge are taught in the appropriate year groups to ensure progression and sequencing.

Across Early Years, to ensure progression from the newly published Early Years Framework into KS1, we follow the revised and updated July 2021 version of Development Matters.  In our Nursery, children are aged three and four, and so the progression maps show the objectives related to Three and Four year-old objectives.  However, some children join after just turning three, therefore, with these children and following rigorous assessment of starting points, it may be deemed necessary to look at the Birth to Three objectives too.  For more information on this, please see the Nursery and Reception year group pages.  

Below are links to our Progression of Skills and Knowledge documents. 

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