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Outdoor Learning *

Click on the INTENT, IMPLEMENTATION and IMPACT bars below to discover why and how we utilise Outdoor Learning.

INTENT Statement for Outdoor Learning


At Hillcrest Primary School, we have expanded and enhanced the breadth of our curriculum by incorporating outdoor learning and Forest School into our weekly routine. The primary aims of outdoor learning are:  

  • For children to experience real life learning outside the classroom. 

  • To build self-esteem and confidence in children.  

  • To build resilient, determined and independent learners  

  • To develop children’s personal, social and emotional development.  

  • To develop and encourage creativity  

  • To promote collaboration.  

  • To develop and build the ideas of risk management and risk benefit  

  • To improve children’s life skills and experiences  

  • To enable children to gain a respect for the natural environment and wildlife.  

  • To transfer negative behaviours into positive ones.  

It is our intent to provide pupils with positive, enjoyable, creative and inspiring experiences that will allow them to transfer the skills and knowledge learnt from their outdoor learning sessions into the classroom and life outside of school. 

IMPLEMENTATION Statement for Outdoor Learning

At Hillcrest, we are blessed with beautiful outdoor learning environments ranging from; the grounds of forest school area, to the school’s allotments, the sensory garden, pond and amphitheatre.  It is within these areas that most outdoor learning will take place, but it is our aim to also expand our outdoor learning into the wider community and environment to give the children a wider range of experience and allow them to become more familiar with the world surrounding them. To ensure that outdoor learning reaches the high standards of teaching and learning that we pride ourselves on at Hillcrest, we monitor the learning that takes place outside of the classroom through regular class ‘book looks’, CPD opportunities and pupil voice. 

Forest school is a globally recognised teaching system that aims to meet the intent of this curriculum through holistic learning. It is through this method that we strive to provide our pupils with the widest range of skills and opportunities available to us. Due to its child led nature and focus on social development, Forest School engages children in a manner that is hard to replicate within the classroom. It creates opportunities for learning and development that might not be accessed during regular day-to-day schooling. Every child is unique, as are their learning styles and habits, something that here at Hillcrest we recognise, encourage and utilise. 



IMPACT Statement for Outdoor Learning

Hillcrest pupils will be confident, caring, supportive and resilient learners who are able to regulate their social, mental, emotional and spiritual health. As children grow in confidence in their abilities in the outdoor environment, they will begin to understand, assess and manage their own risk and safety. This will allow the children to become independent learners. Outdoor learning and Forest School encourages pupils to identify their own limits and encourages them to push through them. Hillcrest pupils understand that sometimes we don’t always get the desired result the first time but that doesn’t make us a failure, it helps us to grow, forcing us to try again in a different way. It encourages problem-solving, logical thinking, self-reflection and evaluation but most of all the pupils of Hillcrest will see that mistakes aren’t failures; they are a part of learning.