Oftsed & Outdoor Learning
In this 2008 report Ofsted comment:
‘The first-hand experiences of learning outside the classroom can help to make subjects more vivid and interesting for pupils and enhance their understanding. It can also contribute significantly to pupils’ personal, social and emotional development, as the following typical examples show.’
During a science activity in the school garden, two fascinated Year 3 pupils used a magnifying glass to explore various habitats. ‘Why does it live there?’ asked one girl, when she discovered a woodlouse under a stone. She and her partner considered various possibilities: ‘The stone protects it.’ ‘It doesn’t want the sun.’ They recorded their ideas and later compared them with other pupils’ responses. Through direct observation and experimentation, these pupils were able to arrive at sound conclusions based on evidence, fulfilling an important requirement of the National Curriculum programme of study for science. 3 The badge will be known as the ‘Learning outside the classroom quality badge’. 4 For further information on extended schools, see www.teachernet.gov.uk/extendedschools/. 5 For further information, see www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/media_releases/2150.aspx. 6 For further information, see www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/stayingsafe/. Learning outside the classroom 8 On a residential visit, Year 6 pupils confronted their fears as they crawled for some time, in pitch darkness, through a warren of underground passageways. They relied on adult instructions and the encouragement of friends, who were also nervous, to reach the end. One girl’s responses encapsulated those of many. Arriving back in the daylight, she was delighted at what she had achieved. Her belief in herself rocketed and she soon went back underground, this time without adult help. The experience developed the pupils’ confidence and trust in each other, while also honing their skills in giving precise and encouraging instructions.
The report is an excellent read and points out the real values and reasons why outdoor learning should be. It states the importance outdoor learning can have on underachievers and is an excellent piece of information to influence others with.
View the full report here https://www.lotc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Ofsted-Report-Oct-2008.pdf