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Outdoor sessions in the curriculum

One of our aims in this initiative is to give all pupils, from Turtles to Year 6, many more opportunities to explore various aspects of their curriculum-based topics outdoors. The goal is to make these sessions available throughout the year and on a regular basis. We have brought together a team of experienced outdoor practitioners, contributing experts and enthusiastic volunteers to deliver some exciting learning opportunities, and for the second half of this term we already have an extensive programme of sessions planned. Over the remainder of this term we will be posting up, on this site, further details of the sessions the children have been taking part in - and we will be inviting the children to give us some feedback.

What will we be doing in these sessions?

Here are just some of the activities that we will be doing outdoors for the remainder of this term, to complement the topics being explored by pupils in the curriculum:

Dolphins and turtles - animal songs and games, building webs in the woods and making clay spiders, cooking dough sticks on an open fire and making firework pctures with frozen paint sticks, exploring animal camouflage and raising stick insects, stories and animal puppets, looking at different animal paws, building homes for animals that live in the woods.

Years 1 and 2

Year 1 - choosing clothes and making dens for different seasons, making instruments to measure the weather and comparing Australia with the UK.
Year 2 - Indian monsoons - making tipping bucket rain gauges to compare intensity of rain in Indian monsoon with UK rain, creating model villages and testing out the effects of sudden rainfall, including mudslides. Looking at how to collect and save rainwater, and move it to where it is needed.

Years 3 and 4

Year 3 - Soil and rocks - applying new knowledge in testing soil on site and identifying different areas for growing. Designing the interior of the polytunnel, making compost, planning for planting.
Year 4 - Hadrian's wall - building model walls and forts in the woods, looking at walls as boundaries, defence, enclosure, weather protection. Making wooden signs using the Roman alphabet, playing dice games with Roman numerals and learning about how Roman numerals are used in making wood-framed buildings.

Years 5 and 6

Year 5 - Exploring properties of wood and applying that knowledge to construction tasks. Finding out which materials are good for building structures outdoors - by creating a science tree, that has individual science experiments suspended from the branches. Thinking about the role of trees in our lives. Fun geography and science activities that get the children moving as they explore latitude, longitude, the equator and the gulf stream.
Year 6 - The WW2 garden - Finding out about self-sufficiency in WW2, planning what to plant to have a healthy, balanced diet, year-round. Starting on some winter planting. (Barnstaple museum is loaning us an Anderson shelter and handling collections to support these sessions).

We will also be setting up and running our new weather station this term.

If you feel that you may be missing out on the outdoor fun, then how about getting involved?  

We will be posting up on the website, and on our social media pages, topics that we will be covering over the academic year, with different ways that you can get involved.  But don't feel you have to limit yourself to those topics -  because every project we are working on in the Apple Tree Initiative has elements that are also woven into the in-curriculum sessions. So whatever you get involved in with the Initiative, it will help to enrich our/your children's learning.