The outdoor area is considered part of the Open Classroom. Activities may include taking a book, writing, craft or art project outside and completing it there; observing plants, insects, birds, pond life etc as part of science or topic curriculum; spending time in the Nature Garden as part of a class; making a fulcrum or other model to understand a concept. Play during break is an important time for learning. Lunch is often eaten out of doors, and in general, the grounds are considered as much a part of the school as the indoor areas.
At least once a week a more structured approach to nature study is offered, and includes garden work, grounds upkeep, bush craft and local walks.
“Nature is part of our life. We grew out of the seed, the earth, and we are part of all that but we are rapidly losing the sense that we are animals like the others. Can you have a feeling for that tree, look at it, see the beauty of it, listen to the sound it makes; be sensitive to the little plant, to the little weed, to that creeper that is growing up the wall, to the light on the leaves and the many shadows? One must be aware of all this and have that sense of communion with nature around you. You may live in a town but you do have trees here and there. A flower in the next garden may be ill-kept, crowded with weeds, but look at it, feel that you are part of all that, part of all living things. If you hurt nature you are hurting yourself. …When you have such communion with nature, then your relationship with another becomes simple, clear, without conflict.”
J.Krishnamurti, Letters to the Schools.