'Muddy Mondays' in Forest School and Outdoor Learning

At Sutton Manor we believe that outdoor learning is a crucial element of the EYFS Framework. Being outdoors has a positive impact on children’s sense of well-being and development. It offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. It gives children first-hand contact with weather, seasons and the natural world. Outdoor environments offer children freedom to explore, use their senses, take risks and be physically active and exuberant. Outdoor learning is fun!  We have a great area for outdoor learning that is exclusively used by our Pre Nursery, Nursery and Reception pupils.

We know that:

  • The outdoor environment has unique characteristics and features.
  • Outdoor learning has equal value to indoor learning.
  • Outdoor learning has a positive impact on children’s well-being and development.
  • Children need the support of attentive and engaged adults who are enthusiastic about the outdoors and understand the importance of outdoor learning.
  • Outdoor learning is enhanced by an environment that focuses on using flexible resources in different ways
  • An approach to outdoor learning that considers experiences rather than equipment places children at the centre of the provision being made

Children’s play and learning

Effective practice outdoors involves providing opportunities for children in meaningful, engaging experiences that support their development in all areas of the curriculum. This will include opportunities for children to:

  • be excited, energetic, adventurous, noisy, messy
  • talk, listen, interact, make friends
  • imagine, dream, invent, fantasise
  • create, invent, construct, deconstruct
  • investigate, explore, discover, experiment with their own ideas and theories
  • make sounds and music, express ideas and feelings
  • find patterns, make marks, explore different media and materials
  • investigate concepts and ideas
  • be active, run, climb, pedal, jump, throw
  • dig, grow, nurture, cultivate
  • hide, relax, find calm, reflect
  • take risks
  • have responsibility, be independent, collaborate with others

We are fortunate to have a Forest School site within our school grounds.  Reception children love our 'Muddy Mondays' when they spend the afternoon in the woods pursuing their interests whilst developing their connection with nature and a love of the outdoors.

We do go outside in ALL weathers so please make sure your child has a water proof coat with a hood for cold/ wet weather and a sun hat for warmer days.