Outdoors: I have been teaching and learning outside the classroom for many years now, and witness every day how children, and teachers, benefit from active, contextual learning experiences. Many people in education appreciate the value of outdoor learning in terms of providing holistic experiences and supporting the development of ‘softer’ skills. However, well thought out activities and programmes, linked to what is happening inside the classroom, can also enhance and support the formal curriculum, increasing attainment and improving engagement.
Never have I been more convinced of the benefits of outdoor learning than now, when I have been working with a very mixed group of EAL children, from a wide range of backgrounds. We have seen the children’s knowledge, language skills, confidence, resilience and group skills grow beyond measure, qualities which will continue to benefit them at school and beyond.
Development of language and the confidence to use it, is crucial to the educational development of the whole child, and something special happens when children are outside of the classroom: Learning makes sense; Expectations evolve; Boundaries change; Memories are formed. The result? Engaged, empowered children able to fulfil their potential. What more could we ask for from education?
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of UKEdChat Magazine
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@SchoolGroundsNE Outdoor Learning Consultant – Newcastle