Leeds primary school makes bear hunts, bug hotels and making fires part of its curriculum

Children at a primary school near Moor Allerton have been embracing working in the biggest classroom in the world - the great outdoors.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 11:45 am

Since returning to school after the lockdown, reception children at Primley Wood in LS17 have been getting their hands dirty by going into the woods behind the school and getting to grips with nature.

Here they regularly do bear hunts, build bug hotels and also just play.

It was an idea started at the beginning of the year and Primley Wood principal, Jordan License, said the results were amazing.

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Children have flourished when spending part of the school day outdoors says the headteacher at Primley Wood.

He said: "We wanted to really embrace within reception provision, children going outside. Outside, there are no barriers to learning. If you have a child whose second language is English or children who are quieter than other children, they just shine as soon as they get outside and into the woods.

"It gives them an opportunity to flourish and show who they are. We did it at the beginning of the year and it was incredible to see so I thought rather than it be a one-off I would write it into the curriculum so it is done a lot more for years one and two, and sporadically for key stage 2.

"One day they will be tying different knots and use that to build a den, or they might learn how to make a fire. They are skills you might get from Scouts, Cubs or Rainbows but during lockdown that has been difficult and some children might not get that experience so our curriculum covers that."

The school is creating a bank of outdoor clothing and equipment so that all children can be included on the day, such as wellies and waterproofs, and members of the local community have been knitting gloves and hats for colder and wetter walks in the woods.

Children from Primley Wood wrapped up and ready to rumble in the woods near their school.

While the visits to the woods could be linked to science, Mr License is keen to keep this element as fun and practical as possible rather than academic.

He added: "It is like a PE lesson, you would not bring that into a classroom. If what they do naturally fits to English and Maths then we will but I don't want to force tedious links. We want them to have a good play."

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