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Outdoor learning: Mother Nature’s classroom

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By Mary JacksonTraining and Development Manager at Learning through Landscapes

Explore how the programme of study for Key Stage 2 topics can be taken outside

Outdoor art with Woodhouse Primary School

When thinking about outdoor learning, the first thing a teacher will often consider is the space they have to hand. However, outdoor learning can be more effective when you also consider exactly what can be taught outdoors, as well as what the outdoors will teach your children. Naturally, teachers often think of what the outdoor space offers, and the ways in which a pond or tree, for example, may enhance a science or art lesson. While it is good to be aware of the potential of your outdoor environment, planning lessons around what you already have can limit the possibilities of outdoor learning.

Outdoor lessons – big and small

Getting your class outside should begin with a close consideration of the programme of study for each specific topic. Aspects that can be taught outside can be identified and planned into a scheme of work. These aspects may comprise a larger project or minor elements within the programme of study. In fact, it is worth considering the possibilities of taking smaller parts of a lesson outside. For example, if you are working with measurements the space of the grounds can act as a great environment to demonstrate a point and work as a powerful learning tool.

Curriculum opportunities

Considering the grounds through the programme of study will help you to realise how few boundaries there really are to outdoor learning, especially for topics that you may not have even considered taking outside.

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