Outdoor learning aims to foster children’s inquisitive nature and to gain a love of learning. At Morley Victoria Primary School, we believe that all children have the right to experience the unique and special nature of being in the great outdoors, furthermore that it is important to enable children to use the outside environment as a context for learning.
What do we mean by Outdoor Learning?
Outdoor Learning is a broad term that includes: outdoor play [learning through play], school grounds projects, environmental education, recreational and adventure activities, personal and social development, and more. Outdoor Learning does not have a clearly defined boundary but it does have a common core.
Outdoor learning can provide a dramatic contrast to the indoor classroom. There is strong evidence that good quality learning outside the classroom adds much value to classroom learning. It leads to a deeper understanding of concepts that can be difficult to understand within an indoor classroom. Allowing very much a “hands on” approach.
Direct experience outdoors is powerful and motivating. The impact from outdoor learning can be active and instantaneous, having a positive effect on behaviour. It can also lend itself to support different learning styles such as visual or kinaesthetic. Through skilled teaching, outdoor experiences readily become a stimulating source of fascination and can lead to breakthroughs in learning.
Outdoor Learning can help to bring learning alive. For that reason the outdoors can have an impact on areas of the curriculum as diverse as imaginative writing and problem solving. Outdoor learning also provides experiential opportunities allowing pupils to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities, to manage risk and to cope with change. Outdoor learning can be particularly beneficial to children with SEN and additional needs.
Outdoor learning contributes towards the promotion and children’s understanding of the importance of being physically active and developing a healthy lifestyle. It also has a positive impact upon children’s personal and social development. It can also bring about community cohesion and allow children to develop as responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to their wider community. It can create pride in the school and wider community and promote community involvement, renewing children’s pride and creating a sense of belonging and responsibility.