If you have followed us for a wee while, you will have no doubt realised we are not a forest school. Though we share similarities, we are unique in our own wee way. Today, we wanted to examine what it is that we view as curriculum based outdoor learning and how it can benefit you!
Curriculum based outdoor learning does not need a woodland or forest. It really can be undertaken anywhere. This makes it easy to deliver in your school playground, garden or local green space, beach or whatever you have! It is looking at the learning happening in school or home and using this as the stimulus.
This approach therefore does not require expensive training to undertake it. The philosophy is simple, not all classrooms have four walls. It is only in recent years that education has been confined to a box. There is a host of learning that can support the curriculum that can be used outside. That is not to say training is helpful. This approach does require you to look at learning and teaching in a new way. But you do not need to be certified to make use of it.
It does not require extensive periods of time outside. You may wish to take a full day or afternoon outside but this is not necessary. Just part of a lesson can be taken out. This approach reduces the need for heavy duty outdoor clothing. Did you know being outdoors for just 20minutes 3 times a week improve health and also mental wellbeing, for adults as well as children!
It is not about heading outside and waiting for the magic to happen. You need to plan and facilitate learning opportunities, the same way as you would for indoor learning. The playground is an extension of your classroom and should be treated as such. But then that is why we have a membership site chock full of learning activities and lessons to help you!
Curriculum based outdoor learning has been shown to have long term positive impacts on learning, attainment, mental health and motivation. This includes the motivation of staff, not only children.
As a teacher, I fell in love with this approach. It helped me substantiate the need for time outdoors with the children. It helped me plan and motivated me. But more than that, I could regularly see the real benefits this approach has. I could see it closing the attainment gap within my classroom and support all the children.
There is a real magic to curriculum based outdoor learning which we simply adore. You could say we Love Outdoor Learning!