Learning outside is more important today than ever before. It makes it easier to manage social distancing and Covid-19 infection rates reduce dramatically when outside. Our partner, the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, shares their top tips for taking your lessons beyond the classroom walls.
1. Just do it!
Don’t wait until the weather or your outside space is perfect, just take your group outside and work with what you have. Regardless of the size of the space that you have – a few square metres of tarmac or a huge playing field, it offers a new and different learning environment. Once you start using it regularly, you’ll start to find new possibilities and opportunities.
2. Little and often
Don’t set out with a vision for day-long full curriculum experiences, start small and grow. Give your pupils time to become familiar with preparing to go outside and increasing the amount of time they spend outside as part of their lessons. You’ll also learn how long an activity can last and how you can expand or extend it and how it can be incorporated into other indoor lessons.
3. Make it a ‘must do’ rather than a ‘nice to do’
Learning outside is a free or low-cost way to enhance your lessons and support your pupils. Learning outside has immense benefits for both your pupil’s health and wellbeing and your own. It also provides context for classroom-based learning, making it relevant and understandable for your pupils.
4. Variety is the spice of life!
Once you are confident leading learning in your school grounds, why don’t you walk to your local park, canal or town? As well the excitement of venturing off-site, these different spaces will open up a host of new learning opportunities and help your pupils understand that learning can, and does, happen everywhere.
5. Get help
The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom is the national voice for learning outside the classroom and has a wealth of resources and information to help you plan, deliver and evaluate your learning sessions. Members can also access activity ideas and curriculum-linked lesson plans as well as receiving a host of other benefits. Find out more about how CLOtC can help you get the most from your outdoor learning experiences>> www.lotc.org.uk
Looking for some outdoor learning inspiration? Check out the Cosy Collection at YPO>> https://www.ypo.co.uk/early-years/cosy