An outdoor school has opened in south London where children spend 95% of their days outside, even in winter.
Liberty Woodland School, a new primary situated in Worcester Park within the London Borough of Sutton, is thought to be the UK’s first outdoor school, drawing inspiration from Scandinavia.
Lessons will “take some influence” from the core national curriculum but will be taught via creative projects and “play-based learning”.
The school day starts in a circle around a campfire and is followed by activities such as swinging from trees, creating art, making music and building woodwork projects in the school’s sheds.
Pupils also enjoy their lunch, cooked in the Edwardian house that is the school’s official building, on tree stumps.
The independent school costs £3,995 per terms and runs a four-day school week, from Monday to Thursday. There is also a shuttle bus to take pupils home for 6pm, enabling full working days for parents four days a week, and minimising travel time.
The school is the latest offering from the team behind Little Forest Folk, a group of six outdoor nurseries that won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Although pupils will not sit Sats, the school’s founders, Leanna and James, believe the school will get an outstanding rating from Ofsted because their project-based methods, which include “project public exhibition evenings” where pupils present and explain their work instead of taking exams, are taxing and provide useful skills for work.
The school’s first intake comprised 28 pupils who will be taught in mixed-age groups, with a one-to-eight teacher-pupil ration.