LINKS TO THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM AND Q.C.A. SCHEMES OF WORK
FOUNDATION STAGE AND KEY STAGE 1
The main focus for work in woodlands at this stage comes under the heading 'Knowledge and Understanding of the World' (pages 82 -99 in the Foundation document). Outdoor activities provide an important means of stimulating children's interest in and curiosity about the world. Children should observe, find out about and identify features in the natural world, encountering creatures, plants and objects in their natural environment. They should find out about their environment, talking about those features they like and dislike. In all of this work they should be encouraged to make use of as many of their senses as appropriate.
Infant children could use visits to the woodlands to develop their speaking and listening skills by speaking to rangers and other adults (En1.1 & 8) and by listening to these people giving explanations and presentations (En1.2 & 9). They could also be asked to give an oral report on their visit, describing events and experiences (En1.1 & 8).
Leaflets and other texts relating to the woodlands could be used as non-fiction texts within literacy hours by considering the use of organisational features, illustrations and captions in the presentation of information (En2.2a). These texts could be used as models for children's own non-fiction writing, in which they communicate information about the woodland area visited (En3.1f). In doing this, they should be encouraged to sequence events correctly and recount them in appropriate detail (En3.1b).
Infant children could also consider myths, legends and traditional stories set in a woodland context (En2.6a & c) and these, together with first-hand experience of the woodland environment, could be used as a starting point for creative writing, including stories, poetry and simple plays (En3.12).
Infant children could use woodlands as a resource to learn about shape and space through practical activity in the environment. They could also be given opportunities to estimate and measure in a range of practical contexts (Ma3.1d).
First-hand experience forms a major part of 'Scientific enquiry' work at Key Stage 1, during which children are expected to explore using the senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste as appropriate, and to make and record observations and measurements (Sc1.2f). However, the main focus of Key Stage 1 work in the woodlands relates to Attainment Target Sc2 'Life processes and living things'.
Infant children could use woodlands to:
- consider the difference between things that are living and those that have never been alive (Sc2.2a).
- find out about the different kinds of plants and animals in the local environment (Sc2.5a) and group these according to similarities and differences (Sc2.4b).
- identify similarities and differences between local environments and ways in which these affect the animals and plants found there (Sc2.5b).
- relate life processes to animals and plants found in the local environment (Sc2.1c).
- recognise and name different parts of flowering plants (Sc2.3b) and understand that seeds grow into flowering plants (Sc2.3c).
- learn the importance of caring for the environment (Sc2.5c).
Key Stage 1 Qualifications and Curriculum Authority science units of that relate to the Heritage Woodlands include 1B 'Growing plants'; 2B 'Plants and animals in the local environment'; and 2C 'Variation'.
The geography curriculum at all Key Stages requires children to carry out geographical enquiry, both inside and outside the classroom (7b).
The Heritage Woodlands and materials relating to them provide a resource for the development of children's geographical skills, including:
- asking geographical questions (1a)
- observing and recording evidence (1b)
- the use of geographical vocabulary (2a),
- collecting information using fieldwork techniques (2b)
- making and using maps and plans (2c)
- using secondary sources of information (2d)
During Key Stage 1, all pupils are required to contrast the locality of their school (6a) with a contrasting area (6b). For this purpose, a local Heritage Woodland could be used as a contrasting locality to the immediate environment of the school. In making comparisons between the two localities, children should identify and describe where places are (3b) and what they are like (3a); recognise how they have become the way they are and how they are changing (3c); how they compare with others (3d); and understand how they are linked to other places (3e).
In relation to environmental change and sustainable development, Key Stage 1 pupils should be taught to recognise changes in the environment (5a) and to recognise how the environment may be improved and sustained (5b). As part of this, they should learn to express their own views about local places and environments (1c).
One Key Stage 1 Qualifications and Curriculum Authority geography unit that relates to the Heritage Woodlands is 1 'Around our school - the local area.
The historical importance of the Heritage Woodlands is a central feature in the 'Fuelling a Revolution' programme. Key Stage 1 children could use visits to the woodlands as one source of historical information (4a) when considering the way of life of people that lived in the local area in the past (6b).
Information and Communications Technology (I.C.T.)
Infant children could enter and store information collected during work in the woodlands in a variety of forms (1b) and then retrieve the information stored (1c). Visits to the woodlands could be presented using a variety of ICT applications, for example with information about the woodlands being presented as a poem, picture or sound pattern (3a & b).
Design and Technology
The sensory qualities (2b) and working characteristics (4a) of woodland materials could form a focus of work by pupils. This might be related to work on woodland crafts, events involving these being planned during the course of the 'Fuelling a Revolution' programme.
Art and Design
Children at all Key Stages are required by the National Curriculum to explore a range of starting points for practical work, including natural objects and the local environment (5a). The Heritage Woodlands provide a valuable environment in which pupils can record from first-hand observation (1b).
Key Stage 1 Qualifications and Curriculum Authority art units of that relate to the Heritage Woodlands include 1B 'Investigating materials'; 1C 'What is sculpture?'; and 2B 'Mother Nature, designer'.
A visit to one of the Heritage Woodlands could form a stimulus for composition work (2b) based on the sounds and atmosphere of the woodland environment (5b).
One Key Stage 1 Qualifications and Curriculum Authority unit of work in music that could be related to the Heritage Woodlands is 7 'Rain, rain, go away - exploring timbre, tempo and dynamics'.
Although Outdoor and Adventurous Activities do not become part of the curriculum until Key Stage 2, areas within some of the Heritage Woodlands could be used with Key Stage 1 children for small-scale activities such as scavenger hunts and the following of short string trails.
Citizenship and P.H.S.E.
The Heritage Woodlands provide Key Stage 1 pupils with opportunities to show that they can take some responsibility for themselves and the local environment (5a). They should learn that other living things have needs (2e) and consider what improves and harms their local environment (2g).
Key Stage 1 children could also learn about the role of local woodlands and other open spaces in providing places for healthy exercise. In addition, the 'Fuelling a Revolution' programme will also provide children with opportunities to meet and talk with people who look after the local environment (5e).