Forest School at Heathfield Preparatory
One of the features which makes Heathfield unique is our incredible setting: few schools can offer their own river – even fewer their own waterfall! We have put into place a constant programme of developments which promote outdoor learning and enhance the outdoor areas. Our outdoor music area was set up a couple of years ago, and we have added new instruments at regular intervals. We completed the Forget-Me-Not sensory garden recently, and put in place a fantastic new trim trail. Throughout the year, classes go outside, exploring all curriculum subjects, from reading Pumpkin Soup whilst making actual pumpkin soup on the fire, to burning models of old London Town to find out more about the Great Fire; from poetry inspired by the autumn trees to the mathematics of natural shapes. The more able are challenged by complex practical challenges which require detailed working-out. For those who sometimes require more support in a given area, there is an opportunity to approach problems in a way which is not possible in a classroom setting.
We get to appreciate our immediate environment so much more by coming to a realisation of everything for which it can be used. We understand the challenges of managing the natural world, and we get to enjoy it more by understanding it more deeply.
The next phase of development promises to be hugely exciting – plans are afoot for considering outdoor auditoria, a new classroom set up out-of-doors, and an eco-treehouse! Exciting times ahead!