Situated in the heart of Somerset overlooking Glastonbury Tor, the school utilises its rural environment by bringing learning outside the classroom to life. Our unique Nature Reserve enables us to offer eco-activities programmes with Forest School and John Muir Trust activities for all Prep School children.
We have excellent links with environmental organisations and the school is one of only 27 in the country, and the only one in the South West, to hold the Eco Schools Ambassador Award, with green issues and sustainability firmly embedded into the ethos of the school.
Through our outdoor education programme we aim to give our pupils the opportunity to work together to explore and enjoy our beautiful rural outdoor setting through extra-curricular activities and within the curriculum. During their time in the Prep School, pupils will participate in a wide variety of experiences that will heighten their awareness of, and encourage a responsibility for, their natural surroundings, the environment, survival and adventure. Our programme includes Forest School for Nursery - Prep 4 and the John Muir Award Scheme (conservation activities) through a weekly enrichment programme for Prep 5 and Prep 6.
These programmes are supported by on-going emphasis on environmental issues within various areas of the curriculum and a strong ethos of ‘green’ awareness across the whole school. All of this helps to foster in the pupils a lifelong enthusiasm for the outdoors and an understanding of the need to respect, conserve and enhance the natural landscape that surrounds them for the benefit of future generations.
Forest School is a way of teaching which uses the outdoors as a classroom and many of the activities involve learning about nature. However, the main benefit of Forest School is that the children have a good time trying new things. The aim of Forest School is to enable young children to be independent, self-motivated, courageous and considerate and to set them up for life-long learning. It particularly supports the development of self-esteem and self-confidence. These regular sessions take place in our meadow where children can build shelters and dens, play in the willow tunnel, enjoy campfires and take shelter in the tepee.
John Muir Award Scheme
This takes place in the nature reserve on site. Somerset Wildlife Trust has identified this area as a Local Wildlife Site primarily due to the presence of an area of unimproved calcareous grassland. However it has also identified three distinct zones (the in-filled area, the railway cutting and woodland) and five habitat areas.
Sessions include a range of activities including some of the following: nature games, nature detectives, bushcraft, orienteering, exploration, measurement of weather and water table, conservation, surveying and recording, team building and discussion and evaluation of the activities. The girls are given the opportunity to work towards gaining a bronze, silver or gold award.
All aspects of the outdoor education programme takes place on site, where we are fortunate to boast our own nature reserve and outdoor meadow complete with temporary shelters for when it rains and a custom made tepee.