Finding wonder as we wander: Outdoor Learning Day 2020

To echo Mrs. Del Federico's words from last week's Salve!, outdoor learning day was nothing short of a triumph. Both students and staff had one of their best days in Southlands this year as we all embraced the outdoors, with some of us even getting our hands dirty!

Reception put their best foot forward to create a beautiful rainbow. Using their feet as paintbrushes, Reception D took it in turns to walk to rainbow, putting their new knowledge of colours to the test. They also used crunchy Autumn leaves to create trees in Music and had a wonderful time making it rain leaves with their parachute.

Year 1 had one of the busiest days of all. They planted their very own garden, with the help of Mr. Eley from Senior School and Meroshan from our Maintenance Team. As well as using their newfound green fingers, the Goats painted using natural paintbrushes made from rosemary and lavender, went searching for bugs in the garden to look at under the microscope and made a beautiful collage from petals, leaves and bark.

Next door in Year 2, their outdoor learning kept them outside all day, working on usual subjects such as Phonics and Maths, but also on special projects too. Using foraged materials, the Penguins created some beautiful 3D natural sculptures to submit to the Globeducate Arts Competition. Using the leftover materials, in the afternoon they created magical worlds that will eventually become the setting for fantasy stories they are writing. The Penguins decorated their worlds with adjectives to describe them.

Year 3 took outdoor learning day as the perfect opportunity to have an adventure! A scavenger hunt took them from one side of the grounds to the other, using Maths, English and Science knowledge to solve clues.

Year 4 were busy as bees with lots of cross curricular learning taking place as part of our day in nature. English lessons outside provided the perfect opportunity to act out the Greek Myths they have been studying while the very best part of the day was spent in the mud scavenging for bugs. One man's gruesome is another man's awesome ...!

Years 5 and 6 dedicated their outdoor day to Art, using natural materials found around our beautiful campus to make stunning works of art. With the help of Mrs. Nanni's expert artistic vision, their brief was to create a maze out of whatever they could scavenge, with tricky trails and decadent decoration making for a true visual spectacular.

Meanwhile, in Senior School, Year 7 enjoyed their moment in the sun, sketching our pear tree. This Art lesson quickly turned into a moment of mindfulness for both 7B and 7P and they used the opportunity to get up close with nature, taking in the intricate details of the bark and even using some natural materials to add colour and shading to their work.

Finally, Years 8 and 9 were put through their paces with Mr. Hough and Mr. Blundell, making use of the entire span of the campus to complete a hardcore circuit. While they may have clocked up quite a few kilometres, the very big smiles on the slightly (very!) pink faces showed how much the students enjoyed being outside in nature.

While this may have been a special day dedicated to the importance, and the wonder, of outdoor learning, it is by no means an isolated occurrence. Our brilliant staff regularly make use of the fantastic weather we enjoy in Rome and the fantastic green spaces we have at Southlands, taking many of their lessons outside to ensure our students feel truly immersed in the beauty of nature.