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Elmhurst School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust

Outdoor Holistic Learning

“Nature breeds curiosity; it helps to grow explorers rather than robots. It reminds us that we are part of something bigger. It grounds us, calms us.” Ben Palmer-Fry


At Elmhurst School, we aim to take a holistic approach to children’s learning from our very youngest to our oldest pupils. We endeavour to promote a growth mindset and to nurture children’s sense of self-worth and their sense of community and connection with others by developing their understanding of themselves and of the world we live in via a broad and engaging curriculum.


Our Holistic Outdoor Learning sessions share many of the same principles as Forest School and aim to provide children with a range of creative and challenging outdoor experiences to build confidence, practice teamwork and develop resilience. Promoting these key attributes can help children to thrive not only during the sessions but also in their wider life experiences by raising self-esteem and self-assurance. We also aim to foster in children an interest in the natural world and encourage them to take responsibility for caring for the environment. While true Forest School is broadly unstructured, our Holistic Outdoor Learning sessions include specific activities which have been carefully designed to support our pupils.


“Outside, quiet children start to talk more and children who find it hard to be constrained begin to relax. Children need to be outside long enough to feel at home there.” Emma Shaw


“…evidence shows that giving children the opportunity to discover, learn about and experience the natural world is hugely important - it can help create a sense of belonging rooted in their local environment, enhancing their health, wellbeing and educational outcomes. For example, greater amounts of natural space in or around living or learning environments is associated with higher levels of physical activity, better emotional, behavioural and cognitive outcomes and with children developing a greater sense of connectedness to nature.” Transforming Outdoor Learning In Schools, Lessons from The Natural Connections Project


What parents and pupils say about Holistic Outdoor Learning

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Frequently Asked Questions:

When do the sessions take place?

Sessions take place during the school day in the afternoon.


What happens if it rains?

Sessions will still take place - that's part of the fun! Activities will be tailored to the weather - for example building rain proof shelters.


Does my child need a change of clothes?

Preferably yes - because we do get muddy. Wellington boots are ideal for inclement weather conditions.


Page last updated: 02/02/2022