This year we have started outdoor learning lessons with all classes at Ferryhill Primary. We have explored a variety of curriculum areas and it has been great to explore the different ways that we can use our school grounds.
Our approach is closely linked to Education Scotland’s vision for Outdoor Learning which is
- all children and young people are participating in a range of progressive and creative outdoor learning experiences which are clearly part of the curriculum
- schools and centres are providing regular, frequent, enjoyable and challenging opportunities for all children and young people to learn outdoors throughout their school career and beyond
- teachers and educators embed outdoor learning in the curriculum so that learning in the outdoor environment becomes a reality for all children and young people.
There is a substantial base of national and international evidence about the benefits of taking learning outdoors. The impact of outdoor learning on children’s health and well-being, wider achievements, attainment and personal development is often recognised by practitioners. Some of these benefits include:
- outdoor learning encourages learners to understand the interplay and relationship between curriculum areas. This awareness promotes lifelong learning and develops critical thinking skills
- outdoor environments and surroundings act as a rich stimulus for creative thinking and learning. This affords opportunities for challenge, enquiry, critical thinking and reflection
- children and young people can sometimes behave differently outdoors. Quiet pupils may speak more, others become calmer and more focused when outside, especially in a natural space
- the outdoors provides excellent opportunities to use a wide range of skills and abilities not always visible in the classroom. Becoming aware of such skills can fundamentally change personal, peer and staff perceptions and lead to profound changes in life expectations and success