Orchard & Outdoor Learning
We are fortunate to be able to offer outdoor learning in a magical space - the largest wildlife area any school has in Brent. The Orchard land is around 100 metres long and 25 metres wide and has never been built on. This means it is a fantastic place for our children to explore nature and supplement classroom learning.
The ‘Malorees Orchard’ is designated as a local site of natural conservation importance. It has dozens of trees, with pride of place going to an enormous 200 year-old Mulberry tree. It has many plants, a pond, and attracts butterflies, bees, birds and has been home to badgers and foxes.
The land also has a very interesting history as it was, like Malorees, formerly part of the grounds of ‘Brandsbury (Brondesbury) Manor House’, which was demolished to become the houses on today’s “Manor House Drive”.
Lady Salusbury bought the Manor in 1790 and commissioned the celebrated Humphry Repton to landscape the gardens. His plans were outlined in his famous “Red Book of Brandsbury”, a copy which you can see online here. You can also see how the land looked on these old maps.
Opportunities to Experience the Orchard
Our Infant School offers several opportunities to enjoy the Orchard. We have also made it available to other local schools on occasion and welcome their use of it. (Manor School, Carlton Vale)
Our children visit the Orchard through the school year during class time, around once every three weeks.
During these sessions children work on activities related to their context learning in class eg. learning about plants, seasons, animals, geography, art. Or sometimes they may use the Orchard as an outdoor learning space for activities such as team working, treasure hunts, picnics, even camp fire building.
We also run an Orchard Club runs every Wednesday afternoon, from 2.30pm-3.20pm.
The focus is around the principle of outdoor learning, and is hosted by Ms Trevelyan, Ms Garner and parent volunteers. Activities include observing seasonal changes, bulb planting, examining plants, pine cones, leaves and creatures.
Children are selected each week by the class teacher so every child gets at least two opportunities to go during a school year. In addition, Infant children can go if their parents attend and notice is given by Wednesday lunchtime.
The Forest Way
The school has also partnered with The Forest Way to offer Y2 and Y3 children an after-school learning club in the Orchard on Wednesdays.
All children can enquire and can join for a term, on a rota-basis.
The Orchard team also frequently organise Family Dig Days.
These take place about once a term on a Saturday, typically between 11am-4pm. Families are encouraged to join, with the emphasis being on fun as well ensuring basic maintenance such as weeding, mulching and planting.