Dreghorn Primary School in North Ayshire will host an LfS-focussed outdoor learning showcase on Thursday 28th May from 4pm to 6pm. The event is aimed at practitioners and leaders across North, East and South Ayrshire and is bookable via the North Ayshire CPD service.
Presentations from practitioners, learners and Education Scotland staff will be followed by a “market place” event where delegates can discuss outdoor learning approaches with a range of key partners. Grounds for Learning, the Soil Association, the Royal Highland Education Trust, the John Muir Trust, Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Adventure Centre for Education will be joined by the North Ayrshire Ranger service.
These providers will be on hand to offer advice and support on delivering outdoor learning as a regular, progressive curriculum-led experience for all learners.
For further information, contact Julia Kerr at Dreghorn Primary School.
The ‘Our Environment Competition’ is a great way of engaging young people with their local environment and conservation issues.
Children identify and collect information about an issue in their local environment, collate the information and propose a solution.
Submit your entry as a presentation, poster, leaflet, video or photo storyboard – or maybe you can think of another creative way.
Have you already been working on an environmental project? You can use what you have found out and produced for this competition!
The winning entry will get £1000!
Find out more here.
After much interest the closing date has been extended to Friday April 10th.
It can be challenging to find fresh and interesting approaches to learning when consumed by the daily business of education. Even when there is time to find alternative approaches, having the support and space to implement it thoughtfully in your context can also be tricky.
The national recommendations on learning for sustainability (LfS) and the GTCS professional standards set out clear expectations of practitioners demonstrating LfS in their practice. The recommendations also make clear that learners should have an opportunity for contact with nature in their grounds on a daily basis and throughout the seasons through provision of green space for outdoor learning and play (Recommendation 4.1).
A new case study from the Children and Families team at Education Scotland offers an inspiring insight into how one early years establishment has developed a high-quality outdoor learning environment. The video and reflective questions that accompany it provide an excellent stiumulus for professional dialogue. This dialogue and the activites and action points that stem from it are exactly the kind of meaningful examples of CLPL referred to in the LfS report. Through engaging in a thougtful, reflective and focussed professional discussion of exisiting innovative practice, we can move another step closer to ensuring that learning for sustainability is “experienced in a transformative way by every learner in Scotland”.
Teachers who bring their pupils into the outdoors find it makes their learning more enjoyable, challenging, active and collaborative according to a report published this week by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
The study shows that outdoor learning in school and pre-schools has increased since Curriculum for Excellence was introduced but that further increases could be made. The survey of nursery, primary and secondary schools looked at over 1000 outdoor lessons and compared results from surveys in 2006 and 2014.
Learning in green areas like parks, gardens, wildlife areas and woodland, as well as on residential outdoor trips, particularly increased children’s engagement and enriched the learning experience in many ways. Overall, the study found that there was an opportunity to make more use of local green places to give children time outdoors at little or no cost.
The report, written by the University of Stirling, was commissioned by partners Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Education Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority and Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Visit Education Scotland’s Outdoor Learning site for further support in taking learning outdoors.
Taking learning outdoors is an important aspect of learning for sustainability. In the recent, ‘Conversations about learning for sustainability’ report, the benefits of outdoor learning were highlighted time and again by parents, pupils and practitioners. 3 -18 Curricular Impact Reports, including those in Sciences, Social Studies and RME have documented the positive impact of outdoor learning approaches. Religious and Moral Education through Outdoor Learning is a new resource which explores how high quality learning and teaching in RME can be delivered through outdoor learning. This resource is aimed at all practitioners involved in the delivery of RME and contains a range of useful case studies, practical questions and professional dialogue prompts.
The Dams to Darnley education resource offers an interesting range of outdoor learning activities for all practitioners. Each activity is linked to science experiences and outcomes from early to fourth level. Whilst the resource was produced by the countryside ranger service in East Renfrewshire, it promotes a number of engaging approaches which can be replicated within school grounds or country parks across Scotland.
Countryside rangers can lead activities, however, there are also self-led activites to allow teachers to take ownership within their own settings. The pack also contains helpful appendices with guidance on taking learning outdoors, templates for risk assessments and useful contacts and links.