Karen Thomson, Senior Early Years Officer, Falkirk Council Curriculum Support Team was invited to facilitate an Outdoor Learning session for Third year initial teacher education students at Stirling University. The students were provided with a brief overview of how Outdoor Learning has developed in early years establishments over the last year.
The students then took part in a variety of different activities ranging from den building to storytelling. Here are some of the comments received from the students:-
“Unlike the weather, the morning we spent with Karen was fantastic. Not only was it great fun and full of inspiring ideas, but I feel it’s really given me the confidence I was lacking to take children outside and utilise the natural resources we are surrounded with. I’ve since contacted a local nursery and I’m scheduled to spend time with them during their forest school sessions. This will help develop my knowledge and confidence further in this aspect of teaching, however without Karen’s enthusiasm its not something I would probably have done.”
“The session served in the first instance to help when dealing with concerns from care-givers on the risks associated with outdoor learning, Karen and Laura highlighted that the use of research and associated data on accidents would be key in allaying concerns. The practical element of the lesson highlighted the opportunities for cross curricular learning with the literacy and story telling exercises, numeracy with the clock making, learning new skill, taking risks through novel physical activity and hopefully the children then becoming advocates in their own households when they return home expressing the enjoyment they have had during the lesson.”
“The session was great, I really enjoyed the teaching ideas for the early level, such as finding the numbers hidden in the woods, and making a clock to teach time. I feel a lot more confident about taking learning outdoors and can’t wait to try out some of the ideas!”