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Community & Outdoor Education










Outdoor Learning at Kenwood

At Kenwood we have developed a programme of Outdoor Education that is now embedded in the Curriculum. Children participate in regular planned outdoor experiences through Health and Fitness and Community and Outdoor Education lessons. Each year students can participate in an outdoor pursuit residential and Duke of Edinburgh Expedition.

We have a partnership with Whirlow Hall Farm that provides the ideal setting for us to create exciting learning opportunities in an Outdoor setting.

The benefits of Outdoor Learning include:

  1. Building confidence and independence

Building dens, navigating with a compass and using a knife in woodwork are just some of the activities that instil children with confidence and a sense of independence.

  1. Feeling empathy for others and nature

Working as a team in a natural setting bonds children as a group. It also makes them aware of the need to care for each other and for the environment.

  1. Physical fitness

Running around and climbing trees develops muscle strength, aerobic fitness, and coordination.

  1. Health benefits

Studies have highlighted a multitude of health benefits to being outside -sunlight and soil microorganisms boost the body’s levels of serotonin, the chemical linked to feelings of wellbeing, while vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health, is also provided by the sun’s rays.

  1. Improved mental health
    Today’s children are experiencing increased stress caused by a range of pressures, from school exams to social media. Mental-health professionals acknowledge that maintaining a relationship with nature can be very helpful in supporting children’s emotional and mental wellbeing.

6. Learning by experience
       Research suggests young children learn best from experience, by using their senses actively rather than passively, and it’s via these experiences that learning remains with us into adulthood.

       7. Exposure to manageable risk

Children can run and make a noise, get their hands dirty and experience manageable risk, which is essential for healthy child development, through activities such as supervised fire building and cooking.

  1. Better sleep and mood

Children – and adults – sleep more deeply after either playing outside or going for a long walk, and mood lifts just from breathing in fresh air.

  1. Learning about spiritual meaning
    Outside the confines of four walls, without the distractions of electronic devices and excessive supervision, children can move, explore and discover at their own pace, connecting to the natural world – a place not created by man, that had deep spiritual meaning for our ancestors.

Our Community and Outdoor Education intent is to develop, where appropriate the physical, social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the learner through participating in practical outdoor activities.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs spans the whole Kenwood curriculum. Community and Outdoor Education relates directly to these aims. Respect for others and yourself is fostered in the Animal Care and Environmental aspects of Community and Outdoor Education. Self-Actualisation is developed in the problem solving, creative and team-based activities and worked based learning around the farm. Aspects of the Peak District Schools Award and Duke of Edinburgh Award reinforce learning, spontaneity and creative thinking.

In Y 7 students will work towards the skills outlined in the National Outdoor Learning Award focusing on Respect for others, Safety and the Learning environment. From Y8-Y9 onwards the ASDAN Personal Development Award can provide a progression to a combination of social and knowledge-based skills. In Y10-11 students can consolidate these skills and build up a portfolio of evidence that can contribute towards nationally recognised qualifications in Animal Care and Plant/ Land based studies. They will also be offered the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.  Post 16 groups will participate in activities that cover the Peak District Ambassador Schools Award and choose a community action group or charity to build links with. This will develop the students understanding of their role as active citizens fostering resilient, independent and creative life-long learners.