All children from Year 1 to Year 6 visit the Ashdown Forest once every half-term. The children learn about the Ashdown Forest: which animals live in the Forest from mini-beasts to mammals, the variety of habitats found in the Forest and how plants and animals have adapted to these, how and why the Forest is managed and what makes it a special, protected landscape. This gives the opportunities for team building and developing sensory awareness.
In most of the sessions the children walk at least 3 miles and have become more resilient in being in the outdoors for longer periods in all weather.
Key Stage 1 focus on sensory activities, developing their observation skills, periods of free play and exploration of their environment. Key Stage 2 have specific environmental art days, story making inspired by the outdoors and have spent whole days walking in the forest, helping with conservation work.
The learning days also cover learning in History, Geography, Design, Science and PSHE.
John Muir Awards
Years 5 & 6 work towards gaining the nationally recognised John Muir Award at the end of the academic year. The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme and engagement initiative for children and young people from all backgrounds, it aims to encourage children to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places.
The award supports an approach in which the environment is not seen in isolation or as an add on, but an essential component at the heart of outdoor experiences, of adventure, of learning, of creativity and of wellbeing.