Our Pinewood Outdoors department runs a varied programme of outdoor learning.
Pinewood Outdoors offers a varied package to the students at Pinewood. In year 7 they undergo an induction to the department’s ethos, experiencing Forest Schools and Adventure Education.
Forest schools uses the natural environment and child centred learning which reinforces and expands on knowledge gained in other subject areas.
For example making a fire in a Kelly Kettle, which uses identification skills so that students are finding dead and dry wood. They are using size and shape recognition, to order wood to ensure they get the best burn. They use the fire triangle (a concept that is taught in science) to identify any difficulties they may be having with the fire. Finally they are learning skills associated with personal risk management.
Other areas covered within the Forest Schools programme include, cooking on an open fire, woodland management (coppicing trees), shelter building and woodland art.
Pinewood Outdoors also focuses on hard skills, personal risk management and leadership. Whilst undertaking this, the group also learn to be supportive and caring for others in the group. This is achieved through a programme that gives them experiences of new activities, such as climbing, caving, boating and map work. As they go through the different activities they are instructed to national standards to gain accredited awards.
The main ethos through these activities is ‘challenge by choice’, where the individuals are not forced to undertake the activities, but are coaxed and supported by their peers to overcome their challenges.
Learning outdoors is valued at Pinewood and the team offering Pinewood Outdoor activities realise how important the knowledge and skills learned in these lessons are to a pupils’ wellbeing and self- esteem.