Wild Learning at MDJS
‘Learning outside the classroom should not be an optional extra’, but rather an entitlement to all; stimulating the senses and developing an early interest in the natural world’.
We are privileged, at MDJS, to have lovely school grounds and to be situated very close to Hartshill Hayes and we believe that learning outside of the classroom should be integral to all our pupils’ learning. Our pupils have numerous opportunities to work outside in a variety of ways, both within distinctive topic work (i.e. work on habitats) and within other curriculum areas (i.e. creative writing in autumn leaves in the Hayes, numeracy work measuring natural forms).
We have an ongoing programme to develop numerous areas within school to create maximum opportunities and Kate MacRae (WildlifeKate) works in the school 2 days a week to help facilitate this. An experienced primary teacher and wildlife consultant, Kate works with classes and individuals as well as coordinating the Wild Learning within the whole school.
Wild Learning Area
We have developed our ‘Wild Learning’ Area to maximise biodiversity and create a range of habitats for wildlife. This area includes two ponds, bug hotels, spider web frames, wild flower area, giant bird box, willow dome, hedgehog homes. We have an outdoor classroom area, bird hide and small orchard, planted in 2015.
We have developed a large allotment area, called our Grow Zone. Each class has responsibility for an area outside their classroom and we plan for and grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. These are harvested and used in school dinners and in recipes and cooking within school.
We keep a selection of animals within school, including chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. Their care is overseen by the Year 6 Animal Care Mentors and classes rotate through duties so everyone has a chance to care for our animals.