Outdoor Learning Service - Discoveries on your Doorstep

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Discoveries on your Doorstep

Primary School Active Learning Opportunities


Why outdoor learning?

LOTC provides real, concrete experiences to support personal and social development, curriculum enrichment and extension as well as promoting health outcomes. Positive connection to locality, heritage and nature sparks interest in learning, feelings of awe and wonder, enhances personal wellbeing and wider SEMH outcomes.


Impact on learning:

Learning outside the classroom: How far should you go? OFSTED, 2008

When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.

The great outdoors – a place to promote wellbeing?

Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments D Pearson 2014

‘There is growing evidence that exposure to natural environments is associated with SEMH benefits. Proximity to greenspace has been associated with lower levels of stress (Thompson et al., 2012) and reduced symptomology for depression and anxiety (Beyer et al., 2014), while interacting with nature can improve cognition for children with attention deficits (Taylor and Kuo, 2009) and individuals with depression (Berman et al., 2012).’


Check the latest national report ‘Work on the wild side, 2017’ (HERE) to see how your school could benefit.


Getting out and about safely:

Schools are great and knowing and managing their pupils well. All educational visits need to be well planned to ensure safety and to maximise the learning opportunities on offer. To help plan your visit use the tools and templates available through the NYCC EVOLVE site: https://evolve.edufocus.co.uk/evco10/evchome_public.asp?domain=visits.northyorks.gov.uk


Curriculum links:


There are many varied opportunities to support Science, Geography and History objectives in particular and many creative ways to support English Maths and the development of enquiry skills. Check out the overview grids below as a start point for your own planning.

A key priority is the promotion of SEMH and PSHE outcomes alongside the curriculum subjects. Use the NYCC framework (HERE) to plan the wider learning outcomes achievable through your LOTC activity.


LOTC Curriculum audit tools:

Here are some example audit tools that schools might find useful as a starting point to recognising the good practice and opportunities they already have in place and to focus on where the next steps may be to further enhance learning or health outcomes within their locality.


Staff CPD:

Further information can be sought from NYCC Learning beyond the classroom advisors https://evolve.edufocus.co.uk/evco10/evchome_public.asp?domain=visits.northyorks.gov.uk

Staff CPD is also available from the Outdoor Learning Service http://www.outdoored.co.uk/


Useful links:

Here are links to a range of useful organisations and publications to help you get the most from your LOTC experiences.

Learning Outside the Classroom links:

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