Shortlees Primary School – Whole school Daily Outdoor Learning

Returning to school after the summer holidays the senior management team at Shortlees, had been in touch with the LOST staff to see if we could support them to utilise the outdoor spaces and maximise capacity.

An initial meeting at the school allowed us to undertake a  School Ground Survey with the senior management team. We identified a number of different ‘types’ of areas, spaces with different features which would be suited for a variety of lessons and activities.  SMT decided that literacy could be the main focus so we delivered additional books that would be used with the IDL planners. These resources are available to all schools in East Ayrshire.

Recognising that sheltered teaching spaces were limited we suggested outdoor shelters which are now in place and can be put up when the weather is bad.

Staff have been using a variety of the lesson plans , learning themes and online resources and we are currently sourcing and developing further materials that will be useful for ensuring that we have a  progression of outdoor learning experiences.

Teachers have attended the webinars and also some have had supported team teaching sessions from LOST teachers.

All classes in Shortlees are having lessons and PE outdoors every day…. this is fantastic!

LOST would like to give a huge thanks to DHT Louise Muir, who has kindly shared her timetables for ensuring that all of the classes have access to a teaching space AND that this rotates – exemplifying best practice… all of the children will have the opportunity to learn in a diverse range of spaces from the concrete playground, to tyred areas to wooded spaces and everything in between!

Current research shows that transmission rates of COVID are considerably lower if outdoors, we also know that there are lots of health benefits for spending time in greenspace. Childhood obesity is still on the rise and there is mounting concern for the Mental health  and wellbeing of our young people, research has shown that time in nature is incredibly beneficial.

Well done Shortlees!

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