St Andrew’s Nursery Class are the latest nursery to embark on the Outdoor Learning Project. Karen Thomson, Senior Early Years Officer, Falkirk Council Curriculum Support Team, has supported staff, pupils and parents in the development of this programme.
Having met with staff and identified a site within Callendar Park, Karen met with parents to offer an information session (click here for presentation). Some of the staff also visited another nursery to see how they ran their outdoor sessions as part of the preparation to getting off-site.
The main aim of the project is to give children the opportunity to explore and play in the natural environment, using it as a stimulus for learning. The children are actively encouraged to self-assess the risks and challenge themselves in this new exciting environment. During the first session, the children took part in a number of activites:-
Measuring – children used a variety of materials to measure their hand, arm, leg and height and compare the sizes. (I have experimented with everyday items as units of measure to investigate and compare sizes and amounts in my environment, sharing my findings with others – MNU 0-11a).
Sorting and Matching – the children found a variety of objects and brought them back to camp. They were then involved in the discussion how to categorise these – this became a detailed discussion as some children were wishing alternative categories. “I want to put the green leaf in the green pile and not with the other brown leaves”. The children also discussed at great length how to sort the varying sizes of sticks and how to tell the difference between a stick and a twig. (I can match objects, and sort using my own and others’ criteria, sharing my ideas with others – MNU 0-20b).
It was then decided that the children would go exploring to see what else we could find. A group of children found a huge puddle that ran all the way under the bridge and had a fantastic time splashing and playing the water – they were very wet!! We also found frog spawn at the side of the water which has brought to life the Spring/Life Cycle Topic they are currently investigating in nursery.
A great first session in the woods!
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