Natural Thinkers – Schools Program

Schools program

It is our aim to become a vital educational resource base for local schools and community groups wishing to access a programme of activities or simply just use the Spinney as an extension to the classroom. Schools that have taken up this opportunity have been engaged in a rich and varied outdoor learning curriculum adapted to enhance and support the classroom curriculum. Teachers that have accessed the sessions have commented on the impact the Spinney has had on the pupils behaviour and interest in nature.

Early Years:

Natural thinkers activities can help raise children’s self-esteem whilst also catering for different learning styles.
It is especially important for children under five to access leaning and plays opportunities in a stimulating outdoor environment. Being outdoors, especially in a natural environment is known to help young children develop positive relationships. Research also shows outdoor leaning opportunities support the development of childrens speech as they are known to make 5 times more utterances in an outdoor environment than in a classroom.

All of our early learning Natural Thinkers activities are linked and developed according to the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum.
Understanding of the World (UW),
Physical Development (PD),
Numeracy (NUM),
Literacy (LIT),
Personal, social and emotional development (PSED), Communication & Language (CL)
and Expressive Arts and Design (EAD).

Key stages 1 & 2:
All activities are closely linked to the National Curriculum and designed to support children’s learning in all Core and Foundation Subjects. Educational sessions in Nature in particular are well documented to greatly influence children’s positive behaviour, especially those in primary school age


By becoming a member of The Spinney you will have access to:

  • A secure outdoor nature facility
  • Teaching packs & resources
  • Use of weatherproof jackets/trousers & wellington boots
  • A trained forest school level 4 member of staff (facilitated sessions only)
  • A bespoke programme of outdoor curriculum sessions

Example of what would be included in a bespoke Schools Program

Pre-week 1 –       Introduction talks about health and safety, behaviour and plan for the sessions (group formation by class teacher for the first week’s activities)

Week 1                   Induction talk, attuning to the outdoor classroom whole group activity
(nature curtain)

Week 2- 4             Curriculum based activities depending on age group of children eg.
(Yr 5 Greek mythology – labyrinth design, mythological friezes large scale based on Greek pots, Minotaur masks in clay, wrote on clay tablets).

Week 5                   Evaluation week- Whole group plenary, using fire pit/ toasting marshmallows.


If your school or group are interested in bringing a group to the Spinney then please contact us for membership prices and bespoke session costs at: Clapham Manor Children’s Centre on 0207 627 9917 or email