What is Outdoor Learning?

At Denstone College Prep School we have an amazing array of outdoor learning facilities and spaces. We aim to use these to their potential, utilising the outdoors wherever possible to enhance learning opportunities.

Every year group at DCPS has formal teaching sessions on the timetable that ensure each child regularly learns outside. Outdoor Learning is a broad term that includes discovery, experimentation, learning about and connecting to the natural world, and engaging in outdoor activities. Where appropriate the learning is curriculum linked. Outdoor experiences may encompass physical; intellectual; emotional; social; and spiritual development. Children are encouraged to extend themselves and to build values about: inter-personal relationships; the sustainable use of the environment; and their relationship with and responsibilities towards their community and the wider world in which they live and play a part (ref: IOL).

Our approach to learning in the outdoors enables progression through the school. Initially pre-prep children take part in weekly Forest School sessions, these transition in Year 3 to Outdoor Learning which continues until Year 6. Adventurous outdoor experiences are an exciting part of the curriculum we offer in Main Prep. We begin by offering overnight camping experiences at school to culminate in Year 6 with a week-long residential experience focused on adventure and challenge run by The Outward Bound Trust.

Within the Main Prep and Pre-Prep School, our outdoor classroom is the focal point for our Forest School. The outdoor classroom, equipped with its own firepit, is used extensively throughout the week as the base for numerous activities and the children thoroughly enjoy getting outside and exploring their environment.