The outdoor classroom offers many opportunities and benefits to our community of students. To begin, the children all have access to an outdoor area directly off of their classrooms. Through the use of decks, patios, outdoor grassy areas, and our labyrinth, the children are allowed to choose to work in an environment that has the added aspect of being outdoors. This offers a sense of independence; the child is working in an area that feels separated, but is in real terms highly visible to the faculty and other students. Many children find that the feeling of working outside is an added comfort and many find inspiration in the company of nature.
Moving away from the classrooms and further out into our campus, children have access to a winding nature trail, a creek environment, and the direct education of seasonal changes in their surroundings. The woods that host the nature trail are abundant with local flora, landscape features, and evidence of local fauna. These aspects are an additional learning tool as we progress through the seasons annually. The outdoor environment offers the opportunity to learn through observation in an enjoyable and inspiring way. Children naturally become observers when they step out of doors. We believe that natural inspiration is the key to loving learning and making discoveries. Children come alive when allowed to explore their outdoor environment. In addition to our decks, patios, creeks, woods and trails is another more structured environment; the Five Oaks Garden. In our garden children have the hands on experience of tending and nurturing a garden plot through the seasons. All ages work in this environment and feel pride in the work that makes a garden.