TITLE OF DEVELOPING PRACTICE EXAMPLE
Outdoor learning and play
Outdoor learning and play
Outdoor learning provides children with an alternative learning environment that is usually more engaging than in the classroom.
Many children demonstrate increased confidence when learning outdoors, allowing them to develop interpersonal skills, including leadership skills. This is often particularly the case for learners who do not necessarily engage well in the classroom. The outdoors provides an alternative opportunity for learners to apply learning in a different context, allowing learners to consolidate and extend their learning as well as increasing creativity. Learning about the natural environment also helps children to develop respect for the world around them.
Here are comments from our parents about the value of outdoor play and learning:“As parents, we love that there is a huge emphasis on outdoor learning at Muckhart Primary and that it takes place in all weathers! We love that our children are encouraged to play and learn in their natural surroundings and that there are no barriers to getting down on the ground and getting dirty! We feel that this extra opportunity for movement in their day enhances their mental and physical health and improves their readiness for learning, not to mention the extra fresh air they are able to breathe. Our children are also benefiting from increased opportunities to experience far more natural sensory input on a daily basis through outdoor learning and we feel that the positive impact this has on their wellbeing and mindfulness is so important for their health as they grow and develop throughout life.”
‘I like it that you get fresh air’ (P2)
‘I like it that we learn through play rather than being stuck indoors’ (P4)
‘When we are outside, we are always doing activities and that is better than doing work’ (P4)
“I find that outdoor learning helps me to concentrate because it is more fun than being cooped up inside. There are lots of educational outdoor games like how big a tree is. Being inside is alright but being outside gives you more fresh air and it can help you engage in the learning because normally it’s really fun. I find that learning through outdoor games helps me learn because it’s fun and they can get your lungs going and your heart going. Hope this will inspire more schools to take part in outdoor learning.” (P5)
We have been an outdoor-learning, outdoor-loving school for over 12 years.
It has never been as important as now after the Covid lockdowns. The recent International Council of Educational Advisers report states: "The capacity to teach one's subject or curriculum in an outdoor environment should become part of all teachers' training and certification...The benign paradox is that a universally designed Scottish educational system will be both more digital and more natural. It will also be a more sustainable education system"
In a nutshell - we love outdoor learning and play