In September 2013, ‘The Hive – Centre for Learning Beyond the Classroom’ was completed. This modern, self-contained building provides a base for our children’s outdoor learning experiences and a teacher training / small conference venue. Its natural cedar panelled design enables it to ‘sit’ beautifully within an area trees as an integral part of the school grounds.
The building is extremely well insulated, with much of any necessary heating being supplied by two air-source heat pumps, so reducing its carbon footprint. Rainwater, for use in the garden, is channelled from the roof into numerous water butts.
In front of the Hive a wonderful Garden of Inspiration has been developed which includes interactive sculptures for music making and an amphitheatre for children’s outdoor performances. A wildflower meadow sits to one side with allotments, bottle greenhouse, polytunnel and a small fruit orchard on the other.
Our unique curriculum provides a rich source of inspirational and memorable activities for our children. Every subject is, at times, taught outdoors through practical activities that children find enjoyable and meaningful – making learning ‘real’. In addition, children develop an understanding of the natural environment by regularly engaging in a range of ‘hands-on’ gardening and bush-craft activities.
In July 2014, we became the first educational establishment in Lincolnshire and only the 6th school nationwide to be awarded Learning Outside the Classroom Mark at the Gold level.
Awarded by the National Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, LOtC Mark (Gold) recognises exemplary LOtC provision in schools and indicates that a school is a leader in ensuring that all pupils have access to frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom.
As a well-established Eco and Healthy School, we work closely with a range of partner organisations within the community to promote sustainable practices linked to care for the environment and healthy lifestyle choices. Some of our community partners have already made use of the Hive for their own meetings and courses.
In addition to in-house coaching, our experienced Outdoor Learning Leader utilises The Hive as an on-site base to deliver training courses and bespoke consultancy packages for staff beyond the school. This support has been extremely well received and will help other schools in developing their own approach to learning beyond the classroom.
If you are working in a school and are interested in visiting / discussing outdoor learning within the school grounds, please contact us to discuss training and consultancy opportunities that we can provide.
To give every child a ‘buzz’ about learning, ‘let’s get out there’ and make a real difference.
Follow The Hive on Twitter: @BWHive