75% of children aged 5 to 12 spend less time outdoors than the 1 hour a day that is legally prescribed for prison inmates. In 2017 words such as acorn, magpie and buttercup were taken out of the Oxford English dictionary, and the words broadband, and ‘cut and paste’ added. We are fortunate to have Hampstead Heath, one of London’s most historic and rustic parklands, on our doorstep.
The more time that children spend in nature, the more they will consider how their lives and actions impact the world around them. Whole days of learning take place on the Heath throughout the year, when girls make the most of the fresh air, the open spaces and woodland, and wonderful views of London’s skyline for inspiration. A very special Heath Day is the annual day planned and led by Year 6 girls for Reception.
On site, we ensure the girls have a generous lunch break for self-directed play. Lessons are regularly extended outside of the classroom – be it in the science garden, the mud kitchen, the outdoor stage or the outdoor classroom.
We also run an after-school club on the Heath, allowing the girls to explore the landscape and cultivate new skills. Typical activities might include ground art, den building and scavenger hunts, and we have also enjoyed sessions of music, language study and even digi-tech on the Heath.
"The more time that children spend in nature, the more they will consider how their lives and actions impact the world around them."