Outdoor Wild Learning School (OWLS)
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.
OWLS (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!) offers our children the opportunity to make the most of the Great Outdoors. Once a week, Year 3 and 4 pupils are taught at Gresham’s new, purpose built outdoor learning site at the Senior School. 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’.
The outdoor sessions have been designed to give children exciting and practical experiences that enable them to gain a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts they have learned in the classroom. Learning outdoors encourages our children to think of learning as an ongoing process and that it is not limited to when they are indoors.
We believe that outdoor learning and the freedom that it offers has many benefits for our children. In addition to weekly visits to the outdoor learning site, children enjoy trips to the beach, where their imaginations and creativity are stimulated by the landscape around them. Children come out of their shells and become more social as they feel less inhibited by all the space around them. We take great delight in watching them have fun making new friends and becoming more confident in taking part in games and activities.
Some of the benefits of the Outdoor Wild Learning School are:
• it helps children to be themselves by providing a unique outdoor learning experience by encouraging children to explore, question and appreciate their local surroundings.
• it is not limited to classroom learning and provides wider opportunities to motivate and engage children
• it helps develop lifelong learners and forms an appreciation of their environment.
• it helps to integrate learning through outdoor experiences in the beautiful surroundings of North Norfolk.
• it sparks enthusiasm for discovery and learning,
• it supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promotes a sense of well-being.
• it helps children to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of humans, animals, plants, and lifecycles.
• it supports children’s problem-solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.
Activities that children enjoy throughout the year as part of the OWLS programme, keeping them healthy, alert and active include:
Woodland walks and nature trails
Historical model building
Studying shapes in nature, as well as making our own.
Building and lighting fire