We are excited to announce our plans to expand our Outdoor Learning Curriculum in September. In each stage of the school, we will have a specific focus:

  • Nursery, Preschool and Reception’s theme will be ‘Outdoor Exploration’ where they will discover the wonder of nature.
  • Year 1 and 2’s theme will be ‘Lessons in the Outdoors’ where their classroom subjects will be brought alive by teaching them outside.
  • Year 3 and 4’s theme will be ‘Team Building and Survival’ where they will learn the essential skills of communication and co-operation alongside survival techniques.
  • Year 5 and 6’s theme will be ‘Outdoor Pursuits’ where they will learn an array of new skills both on and off site, such as Climbing, Mountain Biking, Orienteering and Water Sports.

It is our belief that our Outdoor Learning sessions will help to enhance problem-solving skills, build confidence, and increase resilience.

Our Outdoor Learning Curriculum will be led by our experienced Outdoor Learning Instructor, Mr James Thwaite. Here he shares his journey:

“I grew up in North Wales and this provided every opportunity for developing a love of the outdoors and wildlife. We lived on our bikes and through cubs developed skills in kayaking, knots, map reading and orienteering.

At 15 I gained a work placement as a zookeeper and this, with further volunteering and degree in Animal Biology, led to full time employment working in zoos. I then worked as a keeper and diver in zoos and aquariums in the UK and Australia. Alongside this I gained a Masters degree in Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology.

Throughout this time, I maintained an active participation in sport and outdoor activities and competed in European and World Quadrathlon (Swim, Kayak, Bike and Run) events.

In 2002 I started working in education, teaching animal management, and this led to working alongside colleagues in the adventure sports department where I spent a number of years gaining outdoor qualifications: PADI Divemaster (Scuba), Mountain Bike Instructor, Summer Mountain Leader, Climbing Instructor, Whitewater Kayak, Canoe and Paddleboard Coach, Run Leader. I have taught outdoor education since 2008 and was Head of Sport, Public Services and Motorsport at Askham Bryan College until June 2022.

In 2009 I completed the UK Ironman Triathlon and in April I ran my 7th marathon in the 2023 London Marathon in a time of 3:41.”

New challenges and exciting experiences await our pupils. We can’t wait to see how they get on!