Outdoor Learning

We believe that outdoor learning provides our pupils and students with invaluable opportunities outside the classroom. It can improve emotional, intellectual and behavioural development, as well as allowing children to develop their creativity, knowledge and understanding of nature and the world around us.

Horticulture Centre

The VIAT campus has a brand new facility that will support students in learning about Horticulture and plant Biology – our Horticulture Centre. Additional outdoor spaces across all the Trust’s sites  make sure everyone can benefit from this exciting new project – this includes greenhouses, forest school and nature trails. 

The horticulture area on the main campus has a number of raised beds, a store, a water source, greenhouse and some open growth areas. 

As it develops, the site will support the curriculum; activities will be integrated into the syllabuses for several subjects – Art, Science and History. For example, in Science, projects to look at organic versus non-organic produce will help students to understand the pros and cons of each approach. In History, one potential project could look at the huge development of home horticulture during the ‘Land War’ when Britain needed to feed itself because food from abroad was in short supply. 

Staff members will also run clubs and societies linked to the Horticulture Centre so that students can get properly involved with a real hands-on approach.

Young Adventurer Award

The Young Adventurer Award was created at the start of the 2021/22 academic year, with over 100 Year 5 pupils and 100 Year 6 pupils signing up to the award in its first year, from across all five VIAT primary schools. The pupils worked hard towards completing Community, Physical, Skill and Adventure sections of the award.

The Young Adventurer Award encourages the participants to focus on setting themselves regular, achievable goals to challenge themselves to make progress in their chosen activities, in addition to supporting their local community, school and family.

This year, the programme culminated with an overnight adventure campout for Year 6 and an action-packed activity day for the pupils in Year 5. They all had a fantastic time and have come away with new life-long memories, in addition to making huge progress in terms of their own personal development.

Duke of Edinburgh

The popularity of the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award is continuously growing across the secondary schools in the Trust.

Although the programme at Invicta has been well established for a long time, in recent years it has grown to over 150 Bronze participants per annum, with many students deciding to continue on to Silver and Gold Awards.

Valley Park School has re-ignited their DofE programme in the last 2 years and has worked hard to support their students in successfully completing their Bronze Award programmes.  

The Lenham School have recently become a DofE Licensed Organisation and their first cohort began their Bronze DofE in September 2022.

Finally, SST Maidstone has recruited its first Year 9 Bronze cohort who started their programme in September 2022.

The Trust encourages the collaboration between these secondary schools to share knowledge and expertise and support one another with the delivery of high quality DofE programmes.

Our Schools