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Outdoor Classroom Day at GANF

CIT - Community Inclusive Trust. Where learning comes first

To celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day, GANF wanted to provide every pupil with the chance of an outdoor experience. At GANF Schools we strive to provide outdoor experiences known as ‘Enrichment’, which help to provide our pupils with a well-balanced curriculum.

What is Outdoor Learning?

Any form of learning which takes place outdoors, ranging from reading a book (outside) through to experiencing a life-changing, four week expedition abroad, with a large variety of organised and purposeful outdoor experiences in between.

Why was there a day dedicated to it?

Outdoor Classroom Day is part of a GLOBAL campaign to celebrate and help inspire outdoor play and learning within schools.

As GANF are heavily involved in providing outdoor learning to our pupils, we wanted to focus their experiences towards a climbing activity as ‘climbing’ will be introduced as a new sport within the next Olympics!

The experiences we put on at GANF were as follows:

Upper School – Climbing experience

Lower School – Bouldering / Slacklining experience

Reception Class – Tree Top experience

The Activities

Climbing or sport climbing is where your climber (wearing a harness) gets tied in and climbs as high as they can. When they want to come down they are lowered by their belaying team.

Bouldering is a former of climbing that focuses on movement and the climber stays low to the ground. Pads (go on ground) and peers provide a level of safety when climbing.

Slacklining focuses on balance and takes on the form of a long piece of webbing anchored in between two trees. Exactly the same as a tightrope but a little ‘slacker’.

Tree Top experience helps our pupils to understand what it is like to be up high. Using all the necessary climbing equipment, the pupils climb up to a comfortable area within the tree and imagine what it’s like if they too were a bird or a squirrel.

We found that taking an active part in Outdoor Classroom Day has given our pupils, parents, and staff a connection we couldn’t have ever imagined. The pupils have talked enthusiastically to staff and their parents about the day’s events and how they got on.  Some pupils who struggle to communicate, showed varying forms of enjoyment during these activities, which felt very rewarding. One parent was so proud of their child getting to the top of the climbing wall and this proves why outdoor learning and this special Outdoor Classroom Day is a great way to inspire and get children outdoors to play and learn.

The next Outdoor Classroom Day is Thursday 1st November 2018.

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