Sandown School

Sandown Primary School

Sandown Primary School
Thomas Becket

Welcome to the Green Zone!

Green Zone is more than simply our woodland patch, located at the bottom of the school playing field. It is the site for wondrous adventures, awesome teamwork, creativity and independent discoveries.

From bug houses, pond dipping, obstacle courses to the very popular potion mixing, every session is different. The groups bring their own enthusiasms and interests. We often start our Green Zone time with a choice of adult planned activities, for example; squash a berry, spot the snake, saw a branch. All planned activities are designed to give opportunities to develop nature knowledge and understanding, hand tool skill and creativity. Built into the session is opportunity for personal enrichment of the experience.

Green Zone offers our learners the time, space and continuity to develop skills of enquiry, observation, reflection and planning for future activity.

Cookies (thin slices of wood) serve a multitude of uses. Combined with found natural items or string, nails, water ... they can become; fairy plates, sign posts, talismans, necklaces and components of woodwork.

Developing skills and effective hand tool use across the sessions can be seen in the ever increasingly creative use of cookies. Anthony brought items from home to add to his ‘lottery number machine’.

Green Zone involves challenge, enjoyment, relevance, depth, development of the whole person and an adventurous approach to learning at the core of our sessions.

Daily site checks are carried out and activities assessed for safety. Our activities and the environment could never be made risk free, our planning puts in place control measures to minimise risks and we aim to enable our pupils to become more risk aware. Safe procedures are discussed and implemented. All participants are involved in rule making. Hand tools are used and camp fires made with appropriate instruction and supervision (one to one, small group).

 

Green Zone - we believe that learning outdoors, with a Forest School ethos, can encourage children and young people to make connections through personal involvement. Experienced through a variety of activities, it can enrich the curriculum for each individual and make learning fun, meaningful and relevant.

 

 A pond, woodland, hedgerows, open space and grassy areas make up Green Zone. Here, our learners can follow their own interests. All curriculum areas are encountered. A dead shrew can lead to discussions on the ‘circle of life’, decay, food chains, textures and pattern, shared stories, artwork and poems.

 

Green Zone provides a more relaxed learning zone. Research into the benefits of Forest School programmes indicate that positive outcomes included greater self-confidence and self-belief and a better ability to work co-operatively with others.

Our pupils actively look forward to, and relish their Green Zone time. A recent audit of Sandown pupils’ opinions of Green Zone sessions, revealed: freedom of choice, adults not telling you what to do, it’s a different way of learning, you can have adventures and learn about nature. (Read more of their comments in the Pupil Voice and Green Zone Blog).

 

 ‘When can we do it again?’

‘Wow! Look at that. Did you see that huge frog? It jumped out of the grass, right next to my feet!’

‘Next time, I’m going to make a fortress. I’ll need wood and nails.’

‘We used: a plank, a pallet, some rope and a tree. Ella helped us build it. She’s brilliant at doing the knots.’