All children thrive and perform better when the curriculum provided is stimulating and expansive, while being appropriate to their emotional, sensory and academic needs. For this reason, as well as following the National Curriculum and accreditation such as GCSEs, Entry Level and Asdan, our curriculum is supported by an outdoor learning program.
This program is particularly beneficial to students who find classroom-based activities too restrictive or inappropriate. This method of learning is exciting and engaging, encouraging sensory stimulus whilst promoting physical and emotional wellbeing. We provide opportunities for developing social skills and confidence through physical challenges and tasks while encouraging an appreciation and engagement with the natural environment.
The Farmhouse is home to a number of animals. There are some friendly sheep and goats, a small team of therapy horses and farmyard chickens. The foundations of Birribi Outdoor Learning activities are influenced by the Forest School approach to holistic development. The Outdoor Learning Centre is not exclusively based on Forest School activities, and includes other relevant learning opportunities such as horticulture, animal husbandry and practical skills through workshop-based learning.
Learning is tailored to children and young people’s preferences, interests and development goals, while continuing to introduce them to new experiences with the aim of widening their horizons, and range of options for future life choices.
The core characteristics of Birribi Outdoor Learning are:
- Long- term processes with frequent and regular sessions rather than one-off visits.
- Integral planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing within activities.
- Learning within a natural environment (such as woodland) to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- The holistic development of all those involved; fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Learners are offered the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- Sessions are run by teachers and qualified practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
To support our outdoor learning program further, we engage the skills of professional outdoor activity instructors. Through using qualified instructors, we are able to offer the children the experiences in a number of outdoor activities ranging from kayaking, canoeing, climbing and sailing, to orienteering, map-reading and bush craft skills. These are particularly important for helping children to develop team-building skills, confidence and self-esteem.