Fresh air, fun & friendship
Our school is set in 60 blissful acres of grounds and we believe our children deserve to make the most of them - by playing and exploring their natural surroundings.
That’s why our children spend a lot of school time outdoors: supporting our curriculum lessons, playing, or taking part in a numerous clubs and activities at lunchtime or before and after school.
Learning doesn't end in the classroom. We provide continuous and progressive experiences in the school grounds, educational visits and residentials. In fact, the outdoors is integral to everything we do. Our children enjoy regular lunchtime picnics under their year group’s specially adopted tree. Meanwhile the Nursery has its own designated woodland area for play and older children spend time in the Bluebell woods where they’re free to build dens and explore. They can also pond-dip from the pontoon, use the purpose-built bird hide, or test their skills on our newly-built low ropes course!
It’s all part of letting our children discover what they love and excel at outside the classroom.
At Chandlings Prep Learning really does happen everywhere.
The bees and their hives were a wonderful gift from our 2019 Leavers. We have got them from the Oxfordshire Beekeeper's Association who are helping us learn about the bees and all their benefits in nature. Our very own Mrs Hanslip and Mrs Hicks are training to be bee keepers and once they are fully trained up we will start Bee Club and learning about the bees will be part of our school's outdoor learning programme.
This summer we will have our first batch of honey which we are very excited about.
Outdoor learning is a huge part of life at Chandlings and can stimulate, motivate and offer learning experiences to enhance those that they receive in the classroom.
We have a two new additions to the Chandlings family...a pair of pygmy goats. They are very tame and the children all have the opportunity to feed them, pet them and even walk them!. Caring for our school animals will build a sense of responsibility in children, helping them to develop empathy and increased awareness of the needs and feelings of others. We know that the children will have lots of fun with them and they will definitely help with our children's wellbeing. We always know where our Head, Christine Cook, is if she isn't in her office!
Pond Dipping at the Pontoon
We are fortunate at Chandlings to have a wide variety of habitats within our grounds. We have a safe floating pontoon on one of our many ponds where the children can pond dip using nets and identify the living things they find.
Our Bird Hide is used by all the children at Chandlings from Nursery up to Year 6. We have managed to not only spot birds from it but also wild animals.
Bluebell Woods and Low Ropes Course
The Bluebell Woods are a wonderful place to explore and build dens and with the addition of our Low Rope Course the children can now learn new skills including team building, resilience and determination.
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Here at Chandlings, our aim is to allow children to learn skills in STEM outside of the classroom as well as during lessons. With this in mind, we have created a new STEM playground full of equipment such as, poles, planks, crates, gutters, gutter stands, barrels and tyres. This non structured play enables the children to explore, develop problem solving skills and have opportunities to design and construct.
Our younger children have their own Forest School where they can visit on a daily basis.
Every year Chandlings’ pupils and staff bring in hundreds of apples and pears from home in order to make juice. This initiative is organised by the school’s Eco-Council. The school hires the apple crusher, apple presser and pasteuriser from a local company and each year group from Nursery right through to Year 6 have the opportunity to press the apples.
Our Nursery children have their own special garden that they can play in every day. They enjoy water play, driving around in their own little cars, play in the mud with their trucks, imaginative play and can even stroke the guinea pigs!
Green Woodworking and Willow Den
Children can take part in the Green Woodworking club which takes place in the Willow Den near the Eco-field. They made spoons and catapults from ash, willow, hazel and elder using hand tools. They also created a Pole Lathe and a Shaving Horse.
Adopt a Tree
Each year group is allocated a tree within the school grounds which the children visit during the school year in a variety of contexts. The children learn to identify trees by the shape of their leaf and they become more familiar with the local flora and fauna.
The Chandlings 'Adopt a Tree' intranet page also gives you ideas on how you can continue this theme with your children at home.
Visit the Latest Tree Blog to see what the children have been up to with their trees.
Year 6 Camp
As a final ‘swansong’ before leaving Chandlings, we have the ‘Year 6 Camp’ in the school grounds. We are fortunate to have a secluded section of land at the top of our site which is ideal for pitching tents and setting up a central camp fire. The pupils sleep in tents of 2, 3 , 4 and sometimes more, and teachers from Chandlings join them in this outdoor adventure.
At Chandlings we are very lucky to have extensive grounds providing different habitats for plenty of wildlife. We have a pontoon and a bird hide which enables close observations of the animals that live around the school. We also have a wildlife camera giving us further opportunities to explore the grounds outside of school hours and at night time. The camera is regularly placed around the grounds and on the year group trees. We have captured many images and videos of wildlife such as, Muntjac deer, squirrels and foxes, as well as a variety of birds. Father Christmas has also been spotted! We have had local visiting wildlife experts in to talk to the children about animals such as, crayfish, toads and newts. Slow worms have been spotted in Bluebell wood and a snake has been seen swimming across the pond.