Since opening in 1977, Rippledown has welcomed over 40,000 primary school children from all parts of the South East England and Northern Europe. A visit to the Centre gives a child the opportunity to engage with the natural world, whilst also for many providing them with their first experience of being away from home.
Now, more than ever, the outdoor classroom needs children visiting it – for not only a more rounded learning experience, but in particular to ensure they are connected with the natural systems and approaches to living that can guide us to a more sustainable future on this planet.
Knowledge through nature
Learning through experiencing the outdoors – through awakening all five senses – can provide a child with a profound and fun-filled experience. The natural environment helps pupils of all ages to make sense of the world around in a manner that is simply not possible within the conventional classroom setting.
Tailored for the school curriculum
Visiting Rippledown is worthwhile at any time, yet the most benefit can be obtained when definite learning objectives are identified and the visit is an integral element in a school’s curriculum planning. Curriculum areas covered include Maths, English, Science, History, Geography, Design and Technology, PE, PSHE and Citizenship. There are over sixty different activities that help stimulate a child’s learning capacities, using the centre’s countryside and seashore habitats. The residential visit is a learning tool in itself, developing life skills and improving team and class dynamics as well as self-awareness and individual confidence.
Our resources: bringing the outdoors to life
Shaping the resources and amenities of a safe outdoor learning environment is something that needs great attention to detail. For over three decades the 3 acres of land surrounding Rippledown and a further 9 acres around ‘The Pines Calyx’ in St. Margaret’s Bay has been shaped with outdoor learning in mind. This has resulted in a profusion of spaces where a young child and the natural world can be drawn close together. Indeed the Centre’s team are also often called into many schools to help shape their own grounds and to bring the outdoors alive there also.
Part of The Bay Trust
Rippledown represents the cornerstone of the work of the environmental education charity, The Bay Trust whose core mission is to inspire, encourage and enable youth, so that they are grounded with the attitudes, knowledge and skills for sustainable living in the 21st century.