Outdoor Learning Experiences supports teachers who wish to take their children away from the classroom to engage in learning in the natural environment. The outdoors provide a new perspective for learning, offering interest, challenge, stimulation and novelty. This can support more hands-on, kinaesthetic learners, who want to learn by doing. It provides opportunities for children to demonstrate new skills and understanding. For some children outdoor learning is a chance to learn about nature, the countryside, and environmental stewardship; for others, its a chance to learn about where their food comes from, and how farming shapes the development of the countryside; for others, its a chance to investigate the biodiversity all around them, whether that be minibeasts, the variety of plants within a hedgerow, or examining nature up close through a magnifying glass. Learning outdoors can be challenging, but it also offers opportunities for teamwork, developing new social skills, and learning new things. Learning outdoors isn’t just about nature and science, but can also involve development of new vocabulary, stimulate creative writing or art, and put into context information gained in the classroom. There is growing movement to ensure that children are allowed outside and to engage with nature. Give it a try!

Activities take place throughout the year, and include farm visits, forest school, outdoor science classes.

All of our farm visits and forest school activities are run by a trained leader (CEVAS and Forest School level 3 qualified), and the farm meets appropriate health and safety guidelines for hosting visits from school children. We offer pre-visits to teachers, during which we discuss specific learning needs to integrate the field trip with the classroom. We provide guidance on preparing to come to the farm, and assistance in preparing risk assessments.

We are 30 miles from London, close to Stevenage, St. Alban’s, Luton, Hitchin, Harpenden, Welwyn and Hatfield. We can offer a range of activities throughout the seasons, which can be tailored to the visitors’ needs.

To arrange a visit, please call 01438 871 948 or e-mail info@outdoorlearningexperiences.org
Address: Easthall Farm, St. Paul’s Walden, Hitchin, Herts SG4 8BP

Easthall Farm
This historical estate comprises a mixed farm of cereal crops and beef cattle, a walled garden containing an old fruit orchard and commercial vegetable production, and woodlands. This environment offers an opportunity to teach about farming, food production, conservation, wildlife, tree planting, and woodland management.

Resources
• Crops and farm machinery
• Beef cattle
• Woodland – ancient and newly planted
• Kitchen garden with established fruit trees and vegetables
• Farm Walk: This crosses the farm and illustrates a range of habitats and farm activities.
• Seasonal displays: of daffodils and bluebells
• Wildlife: During farm walks it is possible to see deer (fallow and muntjac), hare, rabbits, squirrels and stoats as well as many birds including ravens, red kites, sparrow hawks, pheasants, partridge, ducks, geese, owls and other woodland birds.
• 18th century grade 1 listed formal garden and historic landscape

Facilities
• Classroom
• Activity leader (DBS checked, CEVAS trained, OCN level3 Forest School leader)
• Coach parking