Outdoor Learning at Hardwick House School is designed to help children in developing their self-confidence, well being, practical skills and connection with nature.
We look at a range of gardening skills including growing fruit and vegetables which we nurture from seed to being ready to harvest. These often get cooked on a camp-fire as a social eating skill - we love getting together around the fire to taste the food we have grown! We find that for children who struggle to cope with change, they will enjoy the manageable speed in which a garden will sprout, grow, ripen and fade. Also children who are reluctant to taste new foods will be more likely to try food that they have grown themselves.
We also care for a range of animals by feeding and looking after chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits, fish and degus, all of which have been rescued by the school. The animals, who also eat the food we have grown, are used for both teaching and as a tool for calming pupils in times of anxiety. We find that taking care of vulnerable animals gives children a great sense of responsibility and personal well-being.
We have a range of forest school activities, which help children with developing creativity and practical skills. This includes building and nurturing camp fires which give a huge feeling of achievement and are great for working together and socialising. All of our learners have the opportunity for lessons in the outdoor area.