I’ve been thinking about outdoor learning recently and how the natural environment, along with developing exploration and enquiry can help and engage learning.
This term I have had the pleasure of visiting Forest School lessons with both Reception and Year 1 and have seen the engagement that takes place when learning is carefully planned in the outdoors. I have seen children asking and answering questions based on the science curriculum, been part of collaborative learning with groups of children, seen children writing for a clear purpose and using books to gather information to extend their learning. Technology has also been used carefully in the outdoor classroom to support investigation and to develop the children’s ideas and thoughts.
On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to listen to Tom Sherrington talk to the staff about how we can continue to engage children in their learning whilst continuing to develop a rich knowledge base. One message that resonates with me is how we can use experiences to explore learning possibilities and a deeper understanding of concepts. I was also able to chat to the team at the Frontier Centre this week on how we can develop outdoor experiences for children both during residential trips but also within the school curriculum, which brings us back full circle to the wonderful Forest School Lessons I have been privileged to be a part of.
This has made me think about how technology has allowed us to develop more information and knowledge about learning experiences, however, technology may also be stopping some of our children from going to play outside, to climb a tree, to search for bugs and insects and to develop their curiosity and knowledge of the world. So, let’s all enjoy a lovely weekend and find the time to investigate the world outside, go for a walk, splash in a puddle and take time to talk about the wonderful world around us.