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Outdoor Learning & Personal Development

Outdoor Learning and Personal Development at The Polygon School



At The Polygon School, we have a strong belief in providing learning beyond the classroom and learning from our surroundings. Learning does not need to always take place within the classroom. Time outdoors often provides a different educational experience and helps pupils to make sense of the world around them by putting their skills into a meaningful context. We encourage our pupils to get out into the fresh air to help improve their physical development, mental health and well-being. Although we don’t have a very large outdoor space, we are working hard to provide opportunities for our boys on-site as well as out in our local community; this includes organising visits to The New Forest which is right on our doorstep.



Our outdoor learning curriculum is bespoke for each year group and individual needs. Its aim is to provide a valuable hands-on experience that allows each pupil to explore new environments, have new experiences, play and challenge themselves to overcome personal barriers.

Outdoor learning is a broad term used which includes:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Outdoor play
  • Teamwork and problem solving
  • Outdoor adventure activities
  • Environmental education
  • School outdoor classroom development projects
  • Navigational skills
  • Forest school


Implementation and Impact

The programme may include physical challenges such as kayaking, sailing, climbing and hiking to less physically challenging activities such as photography, den building, fire lighting and basic cookery. The direct experience each pupil has is more motivating which has more impact and credibility and can lead to a breakthrough in learning. Additionally, every pupil will have the opportunity to attend at least one half term block of Forest School at Itchen Valley Country Park.


All experiences at The Polygon School are well planned, safely managed, delivered by qualified staff and personalised for each class group in order for them to have a positive experience so they can:

  • Develop communications skills
  • Have new experiences
  • Develop confidence
  • Improve attitudes
  • Improve academic achievement
  • Develop concentration and focus
  • Improve self-esteem and self-worth
  • Engage pupils
  • Be inspired and motivated
  • Develop independence
  • Be exposed to new environments
  • Take responsibility for their actions
  • Learn through play
  • Reflect
  • Being able to deal will the unknown
  • Have a greater understanding of their surroundings