We are fortunate to be surrounded by extensive outdoor space and we utilise it to extend children’s learning beyond the classroom. Our large playing field is the venue for school and inter-school sporting events and competitions.
Over the years our Infants Forest School has become a haven for curious learning, where children in all year groups explore nature and their environment as part of the science curriculum. It provides opportunities for cross-curricular learning in English and maths. Our younger children can be seen ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ and looking for the infamous ‘Gruffalo’. Our older children use it as part of their science lessons and care for the environment.
More recently we have developed our outdoor areas into gardens.
- The Angel Garden in the Infant School has a bug hotel to attract natural wildlife and each year group has their own area for planting and caring for plants and vegetables.
- Junior classes also have their own gardens per class and compete to see who can be awarded the accolade of best garden area.
In 2022, we opened our second Forest School in the Juniors area. Thanks to the hard work of our local Community Payback team, a new area was cleared of debris and a new walkway into a second forest school was created, and we were also able to re-open our adventure trim trail.
Twinned with this, we also installed our very own apiary (or beehives) in the Junior Forest School. We are very lucky to have the support of local beekeeper, Mrs Parminter, who also produces the locally grown “Dulwich Honey”. The bees were moved in over the February 2022 half-term and they are now busy making honey (we hope) to harvest and sell in Summer.
They hives are securely fenced off in their own enclosure complete with padlock and wire netting on all sides to ensure everyone’s safety, as well as being subject to a risk assessment and insurance. St Joseph’s is a member of the London Beekeepers Association (LBKA).
At St Joseph’s we are proud to take learning beyond the classroom to improve our knowledge and understanding and contribute towards creating a healthy and sustainable environment.