Outdoor Learning at The Bay
At the Bay, we aim to provide high-quality outdoor learning opportunities to support the curriculum learning in the classroom and bring learning to life. We endeavour to equip pupils with both academic learning, and support their emotional wellbeing, through carefully planned teambuilding and collaborative activities. In addition, children also have the opportunity to take part in residential activities which, for some, is their first time staying away from familiar settings and their family.
High quality learning is brought to life for children through different educational learning providers, both on the island and on the mainland. In addition, some providers also visit the school to engage children through workshops designed specially towards the learning children have been doing in the class. Each topic will usually have a visit attached which will have been quality assessed prior to the children taking part. Additional visits are also planned to support a variety of themed experiences or after school activities, such as music concerts or dance competitions. In some subjects, high attaining children also have the opportunity to take part in competitions or activities to further challenge and stimulate their learning.
At key stage one, visits begin with a simple trip to the local church, park or beach and progress to minibus and coach local visits as they get older. Staff to child ratio is high for the younger children and children walk in pairs holding hands and with an adult within arms-reach. As they gain more ‘road sense’ in Key Stage 2, staff ratios are altered and our eldest children often accompany our youngest children on visits to the church. While on a visit, all children wear high-visibility jackets. By the time children reach Key Stage 2, they are quite used to travelling to different venues, which may also include mainland trips. In Year 4 they have their first residential visit, which is usually a two-night stay at an island location, providing team building and adventure activities. In year 6, a second residential takes the children for a two-night stay on the mainland. Before any visit, we produce detailed risk assessments, which now include COVID risk assessments that are always shared with parents prior to a visit. We ask for a donation for the cost of the trip from each family to ensure that we are able to deliver these high-quality learning opportunities.
The impact of educational visits is clear to see in the children’s faces and their learning after a visit. Because visits are so tightly tied to the curriculum, it both supports and enhances their learning from the classroom and therefore is vital to enriching children’s learning and brings abstract concepts to life. The residential visits develop children’s independence as they take their first few nights away from their parents.
What the children say:
“It was great fun at the science museum because we actually got to touch and play with things and find out how they worked.”
“I loved the planetarium because it really felt like you were in space.”
“Carisbrooke Castle was interesting and the poor donkey had to get the water up!”
“It was really funny to see Queen Victoria’s special toilet!”
“Even though we were away from home for 3 days, I really enjoyed being with my friends and I even did the abseiling”