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Outdoor Education

The outdoor education program seeks to instill an understanding of and appreciation for the natural world through place-based, outdoor exploration and environmental stewardship. The local Forest Hill neighborhood setting provides an opportunity for students and teachers to work together in a positive and supportive atmosphere while increasing students’ self-confidence, leadership skills, and appreciation for the environment.

Students begin their journey in September by exploring the neighborhood, understanding where our neighborhood is located on a map, and taking walks to the James River, Owl Orchard, Forest Hill Park, and Wayside Spring. Classes focus on outdoor safety, geography, history, ecology, and environmental issues. Students keep a journal for predicting, observing, and reflecting. They also engage in discovery and exploration through hands-on learning, storytelling, and art. The program aims to engage students in age-appropriate, memorable experiences that instill a sense of place, and ultimately a deeper connection to their world.

Outdoor Education Gallery


Students collecting macroinvertebrates in Reedy Creek

Students regularly travel off-campus to explore the natural environment of Richmond. These students are searching for macroinvertebrates in Reedy Creek to supplement their lesson on native species of the Virginia water systems. 

Students incorporate a variety of subjects into their outdoor education. This student is working on her artistic skills by creating a cyanotype out of leaves that she found in Forest Hill Park. 

Students at GSES appreciate the beauty of the natural world. These students are working on writing poetry to describe their experience on a day in the park. 

Even in colder weather, students make time to do activities in the park. 

Students found pinecones in the park and took notes on their appearance and structure. 

Outdoor Education Blog

Director of Outdoor Education

Laura Bradlee

Laura Bradlee

Director of Outdoor Education and Garden Coordinator, Grade 5 Science, LS Spanish