The Beacon School Leaderboard 09/05

Ashville Prep School takes lessons outside

Published by Ashville College on Wednesday 9th of November 2022

Lessons at Harrogate’s Ashville Prep School have taken an exciting twist this term, with the introduction of a unique ‘Outdoor Learning’ experience.

The start of the new academic year has seen the introduction of Outdoor Learning for all pupils, from Reception to Year 6, which will enable them to learn traditional elements of the curriculum in an alternative, exterior setting.

Asa Firth, Head of Prep School, said: “Outdoor learning at Ashville Prep School is so much more than ad hoc forest school lessons that are sometimes offered at other schools; it is an integral part of our curriculum.

“We are pleased to welcome Paul Oldham, who has extensive experience in the delivery of the curriculum through outdoor learning. He is supporting our teachers on innovative approaches to deliver traditional subjects, such as Maths, Science, Geography, and English outside to explore concepts and topics from a new outlook.”

By taking a lesson to an outside setting, Ashville Prep School teachers can introduce concepts from a different perspective and use innovative methods to explain elements that are sometimes more challenging to understand.

Mr Oldham said: “Being outdoors is also important for a child’s physical and mental wellbeing; it helps to develop pupils’ imagination and enhance their creativity.

“Following the increased time spent indoors at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now even more important for children to recoup the lost time that they missed outdoors, which is integral to their development.”

So far, topics delivered outdoors have been popular with pupils, who have described them to be much more interactive and memorable than sitting in the classroom.

Ava in Year 6 said: “Outdoor Learning is good as you learn about lots of different subjects in a really fun way, and it sticks in your memory. This week we learnt about map symbols; we had to find different signs hidden around school. Some were hanging from trees and we then learnt facts about those trees, so we combined geography with nature!”

Rain or shine, the children have enjoyed being outside in the 64-acre Ashville grounds, learning in new ways that instil a love of learning, a sense of enjoyment, encourage curiosity, build confidence and are transferable for the future.

On Wednesday, November 2, Ashville Prep School will be holding its next Open Doors Morning, giving families the chance to see the School ‘in action’. As part of the event, visitors will meet individually with Mr Firth, the Head, as well as enjoy a tour of the school grounds to visit classrooms, speak with teachers, meet pupils and see the dedicated Outdoor Learning area, complete with an emperor bell tent and fire pit.

For more information about Ashville Prep School, please visit or call 01423 566358.
Ashville Prep School takes lessons outside - Photo 1
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