Outdoor Learning at Blue School
The children have access to learning outside of the classroom in our wonderful and extensive grounds as part of their broad and balanced curriculum at Blue School. The children enjoy bushcraft sessions over the year with 'Pinky' (Matt Tolson of Imagine Outdoors) and encounter opportunities to learn outside with their class teachers in lessons across many curriculum subjects. For example, Year 4 enjoyed using the adventure equipment on the front field to learn all about the stages of digestive system! Creating fun activities with purposeful links to the curriculum equal happy teachers and engaged learners.
The approach of taking learning beyond the classroom walls has been engaging learners for many years. Data from a report undertaken by Muddy Hands prior to lockdown stated that 97% of teachers say that outdoor play is critical for children to reach their full potential and that 88% of teachers shared that their children were more engaged in learning when taking lessons outdoors. Key findings from this report suggested that getting outdoors connects us to the places we live and the environments we will want to protect and that outdoor learning and play create healthier, more active children with better wellbeing and mental health.
Every year, Blue School takes part in 'Outdoor Classroom Day'. Outdoor Classroom Day is a global movement to make time outdoors part of every child’s day. On two days of action each year, teachers take children outdoors to play and learn. All year round, the Outdoor Classroom Day community campaigns for more time outdoors every day.
As part of Science Week 2022, with a focus on 'Roots and Shoots', children from FS to Year 6 left their classroom for the majority of the day to learn Science outdoors - in addition to their usual outdoor programme! Here are examples of some of the activities undertaken; cloud identification, tracking shadows across the day, botanical photography, leaf rubbings and division using daisies!
Weather can appear to be a bit of a factor affecting outdoor learning however, a memorable quote puts this all into perspective:
'There's no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing' Alfred Wainwright
Come rain or shine the Blue School children will enjoy learning outside the classroom! Always remember to come dressed appropriately!