Burpham Primary School

Burpham Lane, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7LZ


01483 572510

  Outdoor Learning 

In Outdoor Learning we learn all subjects through what we see, what we do and what we discover, in the world outside our classroom.

News and Events

  • This term, we have enjoyed taking part in the RSPB's Big School Birdwatch to help the organisation track increasing and declining species across the country. We spotted robins, blackbirds, blue tits and even a red kite circling overhead!
  • At the start of the summer term, Year 1, Year4 and Year 6 will have the opportunity to have Forest School with Mrs Wickwar. Year 1 are particularly looking forward to expanding their knowledge of seasons and plants with some exciting outdoor learning opportunities. 
  • We are beginning to spot shoots coming up out the ground, where the bulbs we have planted over many years are starting to grow! We can't wait for the warm weather to arrive so we can start sowing our summer seeds.

Outdoor Learning at Burpham

At Burpham Primary School, we believe passionately that all children should have access to high quality Outdoor Learning.  We know that learning need not take place solely within the classroom. Outdoor time often provides the most memorable learning experiences and helps children to make sense of the world around them by putting their learning into a meaningful context.

We are fortunate to have a large outside space that has a wildlife area, a pond, a hard play area (MUGA), raised beds and a campfire circle. This means that not only are we able to frequently teach and learn outside but our children are able to take part in outdoor activities throughout the year. 


At Burpham we teach outdoors for the following reasons:

  • To give children the opportunity to be able to explore and learn outside throughout the year, experiencing the different seasons and changing nature around them.
  • To provide opportunities for curriculum enrichment through hands –on learning.
  • To give children the opportunity to exercise and interact with the outdoor environment and to encourage healthy living and confidence.
  • To provide children with opportunities to learn beyond the classroom in settings outside school.
  • To show care and respect for all living things.
  • To support creativity and problem solving.
  • To build self-esteem and confidence in children.
  • To encourage collaboration.
  • To build resilient, determined and independent learners.
  • To develop children’s personal, social and emotional development.
  • To develop and build the ideas of risk management and risk benefit.
  • To improve children’s life skills and experiences.
  • To enable children to gain a respect for the natural environment and wildlife.
  • To transfer negative behaviours into positive ones.
  • To let children be children; we recognise that some of our children do not get the equal opportunities outside school to experience the outdoors and nature.


We achieve this in the following ways:

  • Outdoor learning is planned to enrich and enhance the children’s experience of the curriculum, with all class teachers taking learning outside in at least four different subjects each term.
  • We have a Forest School Leader in the school and a LSA who also has Forest School experience. EYFS have Forest School sessions throughout the year, whilst all other year groups have weekly sessions for half the academic year. These sessions either link to the curriculum or help children with specific outdoor skills such as using flint and steel to light fires which teaches them about fire safety.
  • Forest School is also offered as a weekly after school activity.
  • Whole school assemblies on Outdoor Learning take part at the start of year and on various occasions throughout the year where rules of wildlife area are discussed.
  • Residential trips to High Ashurst are planned for Year 6 in 2023 and to Henley Fort for Year 4. Both these trips expose the children to wide ranging outdoor learning opportunities.
  • Gardening has a high profile in the school. EYFS took part in Guildford in Bloom and won gold medal 2019. Infants all took part in 2021 and won another medal! In 2023, we are hoping the whole school will enter the competition.
  • We are now working towards becoming an Eco-School, with a newly elected committee beginning to put forward ideas to implement within the next year.


By the time children leave Burpham they will:

  • have enjoyed hands-on experiences learning outdoors which will have added to their understanding and learning of a wide variety of curriculum areas.
  • have developed their imagination and creativity through exploration of the outdoors.
  • choose to play outside more often and will be healthier both physically and mentally as a result.
  • have developed co-operation and teamwork skills.
  • be happier to approach a challenge.
  • want to continue putting something back into the community.
  • be more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about nature and the environment.


Winter to Spring 2023

Even in the coldest months, we love learning outdoors. In these photos you can see Year 5 taking their Computing and Maths outside and Year 1 birdwatching and making the most of the mud to build castles.  You can also see some of Year 2 expanding their Art skills outside and Year 4 working on team building to support their work in PSHE.

Helpful Websites

 We have put together a selection of websites and ideas to support you in getting children out and about





In the press

Great article in the Guardian with 32 super ideas!