Outdoor Learning

The grounds of The Paragon are a haven for young adventurers; with eight acres of grounds, hills, trees and streams to explore, and a dingly dell full of wild garlic and bug hotels.

The Paragon is set in eight acres of beautiful grounds with woodland, conservation areas, lawns, streams, and both paved and grassy areas for play. A large play area surrounded by Astroturf and a low-level assault course help to make play times exciting and fun. We use the grounds and, in particular, our woodlands as our outdoor classrooms and we use them right across the curriculum. There is plenty of space for when the children need to run around, express themselves physically and burn off some of their energy.

Each outdoor area has a different learning focus with activities ranging from woodwork to storytelling and from cookery to drama. Themed trails and rope climbs have been created allowing access to Bark Wood (our learning plateau), Sloppy Swamp (our vegetable plots and animal habitats) and Outer Mongolia, where we light fires, cook wild plants and create marvellous objects using natural resources and a range of tools.

We also enjoy Forest School activities; wonderful ways to help boost self-esteem and develop cooperation, improving concentration as well as gross and fine motor skills. The majority of our teaching staff are nationally accredited with qualifications in Forest Schooling and we have taken to heart the fun, stimulation and recognised learning benefits of practical learning outside the four walls of the classroom.

We have a partnership with local outdoor play specialists, Swainswick Explorers, who work with children every week. Using our outdoor woodworking workshop as a base, the sessions involve exploration of the local landscape. Green or reclaimed wood are also used to develop creativity and D&T skills. Children may make anything from birdhouses to Roman villas, a footstool for Mother's Day or bread to bake over an open fire. Each session is linked closely to the curriculum to further ignite a love of learning.