Nature Detectives: Developing a whole school approach

Last year's new initiative: ‘Nature Detective’ was absolutely fantastic and we took advantage of our great outdoor area that was perfect for children to go out and explore, have fun and learn about nature.


We are looking forward to children and staff embedding this inaitive even further into their EPIC curriculum throughout this year.


What is Nature Detectives and why is it important to us?

Our ‘Nature Detective’ initiative is an inspirational learning concept that provides learning opportunities through practical activities in an outdoor environment. Children enjoy the freedom to explore and experience the natural world in all seasons and in all weathers. Nature Detective embraces an approach of nurturing, supporting and developing the self-esteem of participants. It is an ideal environment in which to develop innovation, problem solving, risk taking, creativity and teamwork.


Nature Detective sessions will be planned by Miss Burgin and Mrs Fretwell to ensure that children are meeting objectives from their EPIC curriculum. The sessions will be led by Mrs Fretwell, the class teacher and the class teaching assistant. The sessions are inclusive and planned to allow all pupils to participate fully. The safety and welfare of the pupils participating in the sessions is paramount and therefore all tasks are age-appropriate and risk assessments have been carried out.


See some examples of the children's learning experiences in and about nature below:

Year 1: The nature characters

We collected lots of different things from our environment. We then used the different items to create our own nature characters.

Year 1: Nature art and creative writing

This week Year 1 created a scene with beautiful nature art skills. We've been listening to the story of Little Red Riding Hood and used the pictures from this story to create our own scenes. Look at how amazing they are!!

Y1: Exploring the environment and hunting for fairies

Year 1 had a lovely time exploring our school environment. We went into our school garden and investigated what we could find in our nature hoops. Year 1 then went on a very exciting fairy hunt. Can you see the fairies?

Year 1: Can you guess who has been in our school?

Year 1 spent this week exploring and investigating clues that had been left behind. We checked everywhere and then we spotted some items near the trim trail. Can you guess who has been at our school? 

Year 3: The Robins

Year 3 are currently taking part in the nature detective sessions. Their learning is based around the book 'Coming Home - Michael Morpurgo' that the children are currently studying in class sessions too. A lot of their outdoor experiences are exploring the life of a robin. The children have discovered new and interesting facts about robins along with delving deeper into understanding how robins survive harsh winters. What food will they get? How will they survive the cold?


Year 3 have been working hard to help the robins by creating nests for them and even creating their own bird feeders to ensure that robins survive this winter.

Y3: Feeding the birds 

Making bird feeders using natural ingredients.

Y3: The rain dance

Year 3 had a go at the rain dance to try and encourage worms to come to the surface.

Y3: Where do birds live?

Wow! Look at these amazing nests that the Year 3 children made. 

Y3: Making the environment accessible

Year 3 knew they needed to make the environment more accessible for wildlife and so the got to work tidying it up.

Y3: Exploring the environment

Year 3 spent some time exploring our school environment and discussing what birds would like to eat.

Year 4: The Viking Long House

Year 4 designed and then built their own Viking Long House last year. They  developed lots of team building skills including problem solving, communication and collaboration as well as developing their historical knowledge and practical skills.

Year 5: The Pond

Year 5 worked really hard to create a beautiful pond.

Mrs Fretwell and Miss Fretwell also came into school in the half term holidays to complete the finishing touches. Thank you!

Year 5's objective was to study the life cycle of an animal.

Therefore we decided to create our very own Whiston J & I pond where Year 5 could observe the life cycle of a tadpole. This pond will also be great for lots of other activities with all the children in school.