The Great Outdoors!

We have been busy bees at St Giles over recent months. As a whole school community we are embracing Outdoor Learning and making it a part of every day school life.

The Parents and Volunteers Association started work on grounds development over the Easter Break on our Woodland classroom, The Allotment, The Butterfly Garden, The Orchard and the Conservation Garden. Massive progress was made and kick started the move to getting outside. https://www.facebook.com/StGilesMatlock/

We have had Derbyshire Wildlife Trust ‘Learning Landscapes’ sessions in school with groups of children. They specialise in working directly with our children to improve school grounds for learning, play and wildlife benefits. The main aim of the Trust's work is 'A living landscape rich in wildlife, valued by everyone in Derbyshire'. The People Engagement team works with schools to build on this philosophy by encouraging children to appreciate and protect wildlife in their school, in their community and in their own garden.

We now have our own ‘Nature and Bushcraft lessons’ which we have named Forest Craft. Forest Craft has been especially designed and compiled for St Giles School around our amazing grounds and local wildlife. Inspiration and expertise has been taken from The Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust, The Scout Association and Chris Holland (an environmental educator, bushcraft teacher and forest school leader). Chris is a leading inspiration in the field of nature connection and creative outdoor learning for families, schools and businesses in the UK. Every child at St Giles will take part in Forest Craft taking their learning outside. Taster sessions have already started but the full programme will start in September as part of the school’s timetable.

We are committed to Outdoor Learning and are currently taking part in The WIldlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild 2016, tweeting daily on getting outside and committing Random Acts of Wildness. We are tweeting everyday about learning outside. @stgilesce

Our pupils are continuing this outside of school. Daisy, Year 1 and Willow, Year 3 made Insect and Bee Hotels and we have heard that Maisy, Year 2 has made a Hedgehog House.

If you have any photos of your outdoor pursuits we would really love to see them, so please do email them to us so as we can share them.

Even the staff are getting outside - barefoot walking, earthing and grounding over the weekend and relaxing.

"Learn to play, play to learn". Chris Holland

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