The school day is done. The classroom is empty. The various after-school duties are finished. Now time to focus on those ungraded papers, the lesson for tomorrow, the emails to send to parents about their children, the emails to send to colleagues about meetings in the week, and go home. However, the day is far from done. Pack up all of your things, head to the locker room, change into that athletic gear, and get ready for practice.
Storytelling is an essential part of childhood. The literature we read contributes to our social and emotional development. It enhances our understanding of the world around us. Unfortunately, that literature isn’t always easy to understand. That’s where outdoor storytelling can help.
Outdoor Learning can be a powerful tool in the teacher’s rucksack. But like any tool, you need the right one for the job. You can cut wood with a screwdriver, but it’s tricky and messy! I want to share with you some ways that learning outside the classroom can make an impact on English and Maths, whatever age or phase, and how it can in turn impact on a wider school community.
Having been a player of the round ball for all my life (I can thoroughly commend to you the model of Sheffield’s Christian Fair Play League as a model of fantastic football and sportsmanship), I decided in the Autumn years of my competitive sporting career to move to rugby. Prior to this, I’d only played rugby in games lessons when 15, so I expected and received a steep learning curve. Two years later and thoroughly enjoying myself at Sheffield Tigers RUFC I thought, with the rugby World Cup taking place, it would be a great chance to link the very best of rugby with values and ideas for school improvement.
In my experience once you’ve got children outdoors digging in the soil, pulling up worms, squidging slugs and generally losing themselves in the natural world……it’s difficult to get them back indoors!
Young children are innately curious about the natural world. At Primary level, the new focus on Plants and Animals in the local environment is long overdue, and for many children this connection begins with a Minibeast topic in Foundation Stage or Year 1.
Behaviour management is something that applies to the playground just as much as it does the classroom. By implementing the correct behaviour management techniques, playtimes and lunch breaks can run smoothly, leading to positive learning outcomes.
This season, our Colts E football team tried something a bit different, and were unbeaten. We looked at how we trained and prepared for matches, thereby improving our performance. This season, our Colts E football team behaved like All Blacks!
With the weather growing warmer and summer most definitely imminent, students everywhere are starting to gaze out of windows and wish they were somewhere other than a hot, stuffy classroom. And when you think about it, they might have a good point. Taking learning outside the classroom can carry some very significant benefits...
Talk to pupils about their sporting heroes and they always seem interested and engaged. Combine that with interactive demonstrations of their training methods using real scientific kit (that also enables them to see the consequences of poor lifestyle decisions) and you really do have a captive audience.
When it comes to education, it seems that everyone has their own idea about which methods work best in the classroom. Should they be put into mixed groups or streamed by ability? Should we block-schedule lessons? A new website called the Toolkit can help us find the answers to those questions based on evidence, rather than opinion.
We can all agree that when technology is used correctly in the classroom it can both support and enhance learning. However, when we consider outdoor learning, should we be utilising new technological innovations? Or is it vital that outdoor learning spaces continue to provide a tech-free zone for today’s digital children?