Focus on Outdoor Learning

Learning can be achieved both in the classroom and outside. Children develop gross motor skills as they climb, jump and slide and also social skills as they take turn on equipment and play hide and seek. This can be transferred to our older children whether it’s a Science lesson about shadows or an Art lessons drawing landscapes. We are privileged at Springmead to be able to take the learning outside for numerous activities. Our Go Explore session provide children with a range of environments, the award walks, PE lessons, Bushcraft etc. Outdoor Learning can be powerful, exciting, inspirational, developmental and rewarding in many ways. Children are able to bring experiences they have been taught in the classroom to the outdoor environment. They enjoy role-playing with their friends, writing on the chalk board and exploring the different sized boards and hitting equipment. Even people who are excellent learners in indoor environments encounter very different learning experiences outdoors – it helps children become more versatile learners. Outdoor Learning is an engaging, effective and enjoyable form of learning, whether the emphasis is personal, social or environmental, or is about learning itself. Outdoor Learning provides an open-planned environment where children feel free to experiment and explore beyond the classroom. Whilst reading about the importance of being outdoors I came across the following points: Learning outside the classroom supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promoting a sense of well-being. Learning outside the classroom gives children contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons. Playing and learning outside also helps children to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of humans, animals, plants, and lifecycles.Outdoor play also supports children’s problem-solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.Children need an outdoor environment that can provide them with space, both upwards and outwards, and places to explore, experiment, discover, be active and healthy, and to develop their physical capabilities. The outdoor environment offers space and therefore is particularly important to those children who learn best through active movement. Very young children learn predominately through their sensory and physical experiences which supports brain development and the creation of neural networks.For many children, playing outdoors at their early years setting may be the only opportunity they have to play safely and freely while they learn to assess risk and develop the skills to manage new situations.

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