Outdoor Education – our Expedition Part 1 26 Oct 2012

The Outdoors, is no longer the realm of the progressive or creative schools but part of the mainstream approach to education and preparation for the workplace’[1]

[1] Pether. T.  2012 Leadership for embedded outdoor learning within Primary Education (National College for School Leadership)

Our teachers, governors, parents and most of all children love being outside, and we recognise being outside can be great for our learning. Teachers at Constantine Primary School have identified that there is potential for a richer curriculum and experiential learning for our pupils though outdoor education linked to environmental themes, physical challenges, imaginative resources.  There is underused space within the grounds of the school which could be effectively used to develop this project.

It is argued that there are various subjects which could benefit from this resource:

  • A story telling area would support Literacy, Music, RE and History
  • Natural habitats/Nature trails would support Science, Geography, Art and Maths
  • Building Materials would support Design and Technology, PE and team skills in PSHE

The space will be used both during lessons and at playtime; offering children opportunities for creative play and routinely used as part of many innovative lessons by all classes throughout the school.

A group from our school community attended an open meeting on October 23rd, and our main areas of discussion were:

  • The role of PFI in our project, the rules for the grounds and how they can help
  • Ideas; which included a pond (see Morwenna’s illustration), spiders web, den-building equipment, a permanent seating area (such as wooded seating circle,  or  a yurt or teepee), how we may obtain funding and materials, the need for quiet places, signage, linking the main school building with the rest of the school grounds
  • How to ensure that the children have ownership of the project

The meeting ended with an agreement that we will aim to complete designs for revamping the grounds by the end of this term, hold a series of “A Soup and a Dig” type days to carry out the work in the Spring, and launch the garden on the first day of the Summer Term, when our topic is GREEN. This half-term, the children have been asked to begin the design process by telling us what they would like to see in the school garden to help them to play and learn.

Please see the Forest Schools news posts in the news section of the website, see Mr Anjari if you would like any further information, and come along to our next meeting on Wednesday 14th November at 3.15pm.

Useful links:

Nature Play: www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-7LSEHW

Forest Schools: www.forestschools.com

Outdoor Education Advisor’s Panel: www.oeap.info/

Some practical outdoor science ideas: score-education.org/media/3674/primary.pdf

Institute for Outdoor Learning: www.outdoor-learning.org/