Outdoor Wild Learning School

Prep school > Curriculum > Outdoor Wild Learning School

Situated between north Norfolk’s award winning coast and countryside, our Prep School is in a perfect position to offer a varied Outdoor Learning programme. It lends itself perfectly to learning outside the classroom with our school woodland site, Holt Country Park, and the wonderful Norfolk Beaches on our doorstep.

OWLS (Outdoor Wild Learning School) is named after a local legend that tells of an owl that disturbed the residents of Holt; whenever they tried to stop it, the owl escaped! OWLS is a part of the curriculum aimed at our pupils from Year 3 to Year 6 which gives them the opportunity to make the most of the Great Outdoors. At Gresham’s we have a fantastic, purpose built outdoor learning site at the Senior School which is set in the 200 acre school grounds. Our outdoor activity centre features a 21 obstacle armed forces style assault course; a 220 metre zip wire; a 22 element high ropes course; a 12 element low ropes course for younger children; abseiling facilities; 2 climbing walls; a 20 person intentionally basic bunkhouse for use as a dorm, or teaching facility; and the centrepiece: the 25 metre ‘Bourdillon Tower’. 

We believe that learning outside the classroom is a vital part of curriculum that enriches our pupils’ learning experience. The experiences that they have enable them to engage in exciting and practical activities that give them a broader understanding of all that they learn. Themes and topics in their classroom learning are also explored as part of OWLS and integrated into the planning.

We have experienced the impact of outdoor learning and the freedom that it offers has many benefits for our children. The physical nature of OWLS will support the classroom through better concentration, ability to focus and learn as well as being hugely beneficial for their overall wellbeing health and happiness. We aim to support our pupils’ wellbeing through offering OWLS and the opportunity for imagination, problem solving and creativity are stimulated by the wide range of activities, experiences and interaction they will have.

We see children come out of their shells and become more sociable as they feel less inhibited by all the space around them. We take great delight in watching them have fun learning with friends and becoming more confident in taking part in games and activities.

Our programme encompasses many activities and is more than just a forest school. We include themes from the curriculum through drama, arts, creative writing, adventure activities, cookery, gardening, site visits, orienteering and games and bushcraft.