Outdoor Learning

Why facilitate outdoor learning?

 

  • To give a real world context for learning

Learning in a real context can turn the abstract into the concrete.It inspires curiosity and investigation, which inspire enquiring minds and enables them to achieve.

 

  • Outdoor learning compliments indoor learning

The outdoor environment stimulates creativity and enables learning to happen. Hands on – Minds on!

 

  • It supports emotional and physical wellbeing

Fresh air and open space obviously promote physical development but also the effect of fresh air on our minds is amazing

 

  • Encourages positive self esteem

Children feel fee to be themselves outside the constraints of the classroom. Sometimes we can concentrate better outside, with a hands-on approach

 

  • It increases knowledge and care for the natural environment

Connection with the natural world builds a deeper connection that lasts a lifetime. How can we care about something we do not know about?

 

  • It provides an extensive use of space

Children need space to be physically active and to move freely without constraints. They can work on a larger scale, either alone or  collaboratively

 

  • It enables children to risk take

Digby Jones (former Chairperson of the CBI) asks, ‘ How will children learn to run a small business in the future if they have never learnt to climb a tree?’

 

When do we facilitate outdoor learning?

 

We provide regular, frequent, enjoyable and challenging opportunities for all children to learn outdoors throughout their time at school.

This is done whenever learning would be enhanced or complimented by going outdoors.

 

The use of outdoor learning throughout the curriculum

 

English

– Using buildings and equipment to launch and explore different genres i.e. a ‘mystery’ house, a pirate ship adventure, science fiction in the Space Zone, historical fiction in World War 2 area and fantasy around the Fairy Tale Castle

– Reflecting and writing poetry

– Reading in the Gingerbread House and the Rendezvous area

 

Mathematics

– Measuring the football pitch

– Exploring shape and pattern in the environment

 

Science

– Investigating shadows at different times of the day

– Exploring the enormity of the solar system

– Bug hunting

– Exploring habitats i.e. the bird hide

 

History

– World War 2 zone: the realism of the blitz and the use of Anderson

shelters

 

PE

– orienteering, balancing, tagging and team games

 

Examples of our area and resources

 

Reading Rendezvous

– Gingerbread Cottage (a transformed caravan), where our Reading Ambassador promotes and teaches reading

– Outdoor storyteller’s chair , with a simile circle to promote reading and discuss imagery

 

Fairytale Castle

A life- size stimulus to introduce the genre of fantasy

 

Skipping Zone

To promote healthy exercise and the use of rhymes

 

Theatre of Stars

A stage, for acting, assemblies, musical performances and dancing

 

Music Area

For composition and singing

 

Maths Area

To learn and practise times tables and number bonds

 

Obstacle Course

For balancing, strength and physical agility

 

Secret Garden

– For planting and enjoying wild flowers

– A bird hide to encourage children’s knowledge of different species

 

Reflective Garden

– Using different senses to feel close to nature

 

Mystery House

– A life size stimulus to introduce the genre of mystery

 

Mermaid Lagoon

An under the sea area including pirate ship, to introduce the genre of

adventure

 

Space Zone

A space ship to introduce the genre of science fiction and facts about Earth and space

 

Tepee and Fort

For role play and learning about other cultures

 

Forest Schools

We have been fortunate enough to ‘adopt’ the Eaton Street Park in Prescot as our forest. Children visit here several times a year to witness the changing seasons and carry out exciting Forest School   activities such as making leaf crowns, making animals from natural objects and enjoying nature hunts.

 

An Expert in Residence

Mr Steven Jones, one of our Teaching Assistants, leads regular  outdoor activities for various groups of children. For example:

  • growing fruit, flowers and vegetables in our allotment
  • visiting our ‘secret garden’ with its bird hide to observe birds through binoculars
  • researching about various aspects of nature such as wildlife, trees and gardening

 

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