Outdoor Learning

At School:

At Christ Church School we benefit from every classroom having a door to the outside, enabling easy access for academic, creative and physical learning from the outdoors. Although we are a city centre school, we are lucky to have school grounds where there are a variety of games, woodland and pond areas. Recently our PTA have sponsored a timber adventure trail for the playground, extending the physical challenge of play.

The school is close to the Bristol Downs and classes often walk there to study the local wildlife. One class created mini-beast hotels and went back the following week to see who had checked into the hotels. Guests included spiders, worms, woodlice and even a bee!


Beggar Bush Outdoor Activity Centre:

Through our partnership with nearby Clifton College, the children benefit greatly from day visits in the summer terms to the Clifton College Beggar Bush Outdoor Activity Centre, where they learn bushcraft survival skills and team building skills. Each year group focuses on different skills, over the years developing their repertoire of outdoor abilities.

Below gives a flavour of the types of activities undertaken:

Year 6 - the children had a great time in the sun at Beggar Bush. They built dens, cooked marshmallows, put fire to cotton wool, discussed survival kits and shelters, made traps and snares and impressed all with their knowledge. 

Year 5 - the children had a great time at Beggar Bush yesterday, trying out lots of new activities. We learnt how to survive in the wild by making traps and snares, learning how to track, building shelters and cooking our own food. Our flat bread tasted amazing with jam and chocolate on!

Year 4 – the children  had another fantastic day of adventures at Beggar Bush today. We felt really rather trendy as we donned our fashionable frog eye masks to brave the sensory trail. Miss Halton volunteered to be a target for the trebuchet (medieval catapult) and realised too late that the ammunition was water balloons! It didn’t seem to matter, however, as it had already started to rain and we all got just a bit soggy. We didn’t mind as we used the forest’s natural shelter materials to build dens and then gave archery our best “shot” to finish the day. 

Year 3 – the children were lucky enough to wake up to clear skies and sunshine for a day at Beggar Bush! We completed three activities including, bush craft: tracking animals, shelter building and campfire skills. During shelter building, the children turned into pirates and were challenged to create a home to live in on a shipwrecked island. Our detective skills were put to the test in tracking as we hunted in the dust for traces of animals. Amazingly, we saw deer and badger prints! Finally in campfire skills we explored the forest, toasted marshmallows and enjoyed a hot chocolate!. 

Year 2 – the children had a fabulous day at Beggar Bush yesterday, trying out lots of fun activities. We became fantastic communicators when we were blindfolded and followed a rope path through the woods – it was much easier doing it the second time without our blindfolds on!  We also got creative, using the natural resources in the forest to create wonderful artwork.  Our final activity was to create habitats for the woodland creatures.

Year 1 - the children enjoyed a day of adventure and discovery at Beggar Bush activity center. The children took part in a range of activities including a wildlife hunt, a squirrel hunt, making a bird feeder and toasting marshmallows - the all time favourite. Finally, we all enjoyed a good old sing song around the camp fire. 

Reception - the children had great fun exploring and climbing in the woods, finding 'fairy doors' making a campfire and toasting marshmallows!  


Green Flag:

Over the last few years, we have been working at constantly improving our environmental understanding and activity at Christ Church School.  We have been following the ‘Eco Schools’ scheme - acknowledged as the largest sustainable school initiative in the world.  In the autumn 2017, we applied for Green Flag Status, the highest accolade within the Eco Schools scheme.  

The Green Team at Christ Church School, led by Mrs Fowler, worked hard to tackle 3 chosen topics:
          Healthy living 

The team wowed the assessor by their independence, diligence and confidently delivered collaborative powerpoint presentation showing our understanding and improvements in these areas. On the last day of term, we found out that we had passed our assessment and now officially have Green Flag Status!
If you would like to know more about the work they have put in do check out our notice board in the main entrance next to the office. Well done to you all!

Environmental issues form part of the curriculum covered in each year group including pollution, the greenhouse effect, conservation, the rain forest and habitats of animals.

As a school we are working hard at recycling paper, cardboard, plastic and tins.  We are monitoring our food waste from lunchtimes and are working with our chefs on the school menu so that we can try and reduce food waste. 

Our Eco Team are active within school, working on the school planting and encouraging others to look after our lovely school environment and landscape.

Children are encouraged to walk, cycle or scoot to school and to register how they have got to school on our WOW (Walk to School) tool 


Year 5 went with Mrs Wilson to dig up the potatoes that they had planted before the summer holidays. They are going to be turning them into potato scones and a potato salad today.  
Throughout the summer Mr Curry and Mrs Fowler have been running a gardening club in our outdoor planting area
Throughout the year we go on lots of trips around Bristol and beyond looking at the amazing country and world in which we live
Year 1 had a great trip to the Downs this week where we learnt all about spiders. We were lucky enough to spot a few hiding in the trees and found lots of different webs. Thank you to all the adults who came to help
Year 2 had a fantastic trip to Slimbridge on Monday, linking to our topic about habitats. 
We had a chance to meet a variety of birds, amphibians and other wetland creatures, many that we have learnt about in our story One Night Far From Here. 
Hurricane Ophelia did not put us off, we had a super workshop looking closely at the habitat and life of a beaver and had our own personal feed of Slimbridge's Otter. Thank you to all the parent helpers for making this trip possible!
On Tuesday Reception excitedly arrived at school wearing our waterproofs and wellingtons for our trip to Bristol Zoo (luckily we didn't actually need them). We had planned our route and voted for the top 6 animals we wanted to see. These included flamingos, meerkats, gorillas and hippos and a tour of the aquarium and reptile house. We left with Everywhere Bear, our class bear to learn about animals and answer some questions.
Year 4 had a fantastic day out at Tyntesfield this week, packed full of healthy food and adventures in the woods. We made a super food salad, picking and washing the vegetables in the garden. We created our own delicious dressing using a pestle and mortar to crush different herbs and added some oil, vinegar and a drop of honey. We made plant pots out of newspaper and planted some rainbow chard which we were able to bring back to school – hopefully there’s some space in Mr Curry’s garden to help them grow! In the afternoon we got blissfully lost in the secret woodland area making dens, swinging in the tree tops and climbing the rocking rooster!