The Great Outdoors
Adventures and Relaxation in the Woods
We are very lucky to have the Nutclough Woods next-door. The woods are accessed directly from the back of the Birchcliffe Centre and we often start the day with a walk through them. It’s a wonderful way to see the gradually changing seasons, to have a snowball fight in Winter or sit in the dappled sunshine in the Summer months.
Our woods have a beck running through them – Ibbot Royd Clough – and a dam in the middle of the woodland, much loved by the children. The pond is silted up and it attracts herons, kingfishers, dippers, and ducks, as well as many other visiting birds and mammals.
At the centre of our learning is nature and learning about how she makes all of life sustainable.
We ourselves are nature. The sun, the rain and the earth make up everything we eat which in turn makes up our bodies, allowing us to think, feel and be. Understanding deeply this fact, radically changes how we feel about our planet, ourselves and natural ethics arise from that understanding showing us a new way to live, recognising that the planets needs and ours are wholly entwined. Children already have a strong intuition of this and a deep connection with nature.
We learn about the natural world by spending as much time as possible in it. The beauty and excitement of natural world surpasses any environment that one can create indoors, so weather permitting, we encourage our children to be outside as much as they can and create learning experiences that enable both students and teachers to develop a rich and profound connection with nature.