Outdoor Learning and Health and Wellbeing

READ:

Health & Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes and GTCS Standard for Registration. Where is Outdoor Learning mentioned? How is Outdoor Learning related to Health and Wellbeing?

Although there is no direct mention of Outdoor Learning in the Health & Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes I believe many aspects can be linked which I will later address. GTCS Standards for Registration directly mentions Outdoor Learning in 3.1.3 and 3.2.1. directly highlighting the need for such contexts in practice. I believe Outdoor Learning can relate to Health and Wellbeing in many contexts for example, Physical Wellbeing as well as Physical Education can be enhanced through Outdoor Learning. In schools, children may not have access to an appropriate sized gym space which the outdoors can provide. By being outdoors children are also much more likely to develop their risk assessment. Children can also develop their awareness of Safe and Hygienic Practices under Food and Health. With the implementation of Forest Schools nationally I believe children can be open to the importance of effective hand washing after messy play. If children are aware of the correct measurements to take afterwards, I believe, are more likely to get messy in outdoor play as they know how to manage their mess laterally to please their parents in an ever expanding “cotton wool” society.

REFLECT:

What would your definition of ‘Outdoor Learning’ and ‘Health and Wellbeing’ be? Share your reflections in your e-portfolio.

I believe Outdoor Learning should involve all the natural resources that are of accessibility out with the norm classroom setting. However, some schools will be in a more favourable position in which resources they have to out with their school for example, schools in rural, urban areas opposed to those in inner city schools. However, I do not think this definition should restrict Outdoor Learning for example, if an inner city school wishes to engage with topics such as Maths by taking chalk, counters or other resources outdoors to enhance learning they should be able to do so.

LISTEN:

to ‘The Science of Resilience’ by Sian Williams on BBC iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07cvhrs (30 mins) where she talks about how her fight with breast cancer made her reflect on her own resilience and looks at the impact of resilience in an educational setting. What implications does lack of resilience mean for teachers (in both their professional and personal capacity) and pupils?

Resilience is the likelihood of being able to bounce back when something negative happens to us. However, as the first doctor concludes 30-50% of behaviours how we react in our resilience are dependant on genetic factors and as the second doctor concludes some of us are more sensitive than others. A lack of resilience, for teachers, means that teachers must be able to have suitable actions in place incase a child does not bounce back from negative experiences or stresses whether they be in an educational or personal situation. Pupils, if they have a lack of resilience, may develop other negative behaviours as they believe themselves to be failures. It is therefore, a teacher’s job to have appropriate actions in place to promote a positive classroom ethos in which mistakes are welcomed and are not made fool of for trying again when not correct the first time.

*WATCH:

James Nottingham’s animation of ‘The Learning Pit’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IMUAOhuO78 Who would benefit from this approach?

I believe all children would benefit from such an approach. In the early years, it can be used to introduce children to questioning their answers. In the upper years, children can then explore whether or not their wider world is as it seems. I particularly like this approach as it allows children to work collaboratively with a shared aim in mind and contributing their shared expertise. This can gather views from all different backgrounds to reach a valid conclusion. I also like the adoption of ICT to research findings which could strongly link with Technologies within CfE.

Scotland in Spain

Highland Fling 

Through my MA2 Placement I was able to travel to Almeria to teach in a local school over there. What amazed me most was the focus and importance on the English language. However, most of the children were not as aware of Scotland as they were of England.

I spoke with my class teacher and organised a series of lessons teaching the children about the Scottish culture and traditions. We looked at meals, clothing and daily routines as compared these with the typically Spanish – as these had already been covered in topic.

After this, usually on Friday afternoons I done a series of lessons making kilts and teaching highland dancing with the kids. The link above is the kids final performance of the Highland Fling. Although I enjoyed this, I would have liked to have access to a larger hall to do so. As you can see in the video everyone is a bit crammed for space. This was due to the school sharing a gym hall with the high school that was also in the same building, making physical activity a problem.

 

I chose this experience as the one I would focus on as part of my expressive Arts module. This was due to the children in the class being from a different culture. I gained a lot from these lessons and I feel that its an aspect I would implement into my practice here. However, I feel that within Scottish schools I would explore other cultures/traditional dances for example, Hindi and Irish to name a few but the limits are endless!

Reflection, reflection, reflection

From reading the blogposts that were produced from our year group it was clear that there was different levels of engagement with the eportfolio.

Throughout all the example posts a high level of knowledge was displayed to the topics covered and this was conveyed through the use of professional language and reflection. From writing these posts students will be adopting their professional role in society and beginning to adapt what characteristics a professional has into their work. 

I believe that it is important for all students to read these posts to develop a deeper understanding for the eportfolio and the topics covered in the posts. For example, I believe Claire’s post on classroom grouping and behaviour management was beneficial to me, in particular. By coming onto the course straight from school I have not had much experience assisting the teachers in work experience when it comes to the likes of grouping the class. Approaching my first placement as a teacher has also created apprehension surrounding the area of behaviour management. From reading this post I was able to develop a deeper understanding into the reasons behind certain grouping techniques and how these can influence the ambience within the classroom. 

I believe that the eportfolio can be a key resource in our learning pathways as aspiring student teachers. Not only can we learn more on topics covered in lectures by researching them before creating a blog post on them but we can also develop the professional attribute of criticality and reflection by looking at other’s posts and offering critical feedback which they can build upon to further their professional development.  

One, 2, Three, 4, Five

Throughout Secondary school I had varying experiences of Maths which I believe has been the major factor in influencing my opinions on the topic. 

angryIn my first year at Secondary I was given one of the stricter teachers who was firm in his belief of textbook work. I had always been good at maths yet, I began to struggle. I would ask for help and would be ignored or mocked of in front of the class for not understanding what to do from the brief explanation at the beginning. 

 

I then moved into my next year and was assigned a new teacher who I remained with until the end of S5. What a difference. The teacher believed in a thorough note which was taken in a separate jotter at the beginning of each lesson on the chosen topic then progressing onto textbook work once a clear understanding had been established within the whole class.

numbersIn my personal experience, it was the teacher who made the difference to my outlook on maths. They may not have had the best understanding of the topics we were covering but I believe that was beneficial on both our parts. A clearer explanation was given at the start for the class’ understanding and the teacher’s clarity.  The teacher also implemented fun into his lessons with the use of interactive white boards for class recaps and discussions.

When faced with the daughnting task on my first placement of teaching maths I will arrive at the situation with the confidence and enthusiasm that I saw in my teacher. Even though I may not have a clear understanding on the topics myself I hope this will not portray through my work and that every child has a clear and profound knowledge of the maths covered that day.

 

 

A Big Bang

Biology and Chemistry were always made to be fun with lots of experiments throughout primary and secondary which is why I believe I enjoyed them so much more than physics which was mainly equations. 

scienceI believe that in primary schools there is a lack of science in the curriculum with maybe one lesson a week, if any. This has always been a concern of mine as there are so many different topics which can be made so much more enticing and enjoyable through the use of experiments relating to science. 

 

experimentAt a local placement there was a day set aside to science once every year where the kids were encouraged in the weeks previous to research and come dressed as their favourite scientist with 3 facts about “themselves”. The children were also encouraged to bring into the class a short science experiment which I believed to be a great idea as it not only allowed the children to explore their creativity but also created room for class discussion on what was learned through the experiment. 

Whilst on professional practice I will hopefully be able to introduce a vast range of science into the classroom from the knowledge that will be built up over the next few weeks through the science inputs. 

 

 

Stranger Danger

From the ever increasing number of headlines appearing these days surrounding internet safety I knew that it was an important matter to educate myself on as a teacher. 

internetIn our ICT lecture we were given the opportunity to explore a range of resources that we could engage with whilst on professional placement. I used the time set aside to exploring these resources to have a look at the video titled ‘Tom’s Story’

This was a short youtube clip that followed the story of Tom who went to meet up with a friend he had gained online at his house. Tom was greeted by what he thought was his friend’s big brother and was given alcohol after realising that his friend was made up, Tom attempted to leave the house. This angered the man who then abused Tom. The video clip ends with Tom reporting the man then his arrest. 

I believe that this video clip could be a very interesting resource to use with an older class as it hits hard the dangers of meeting strangers from online without a trusted adult. I would only use this resource with children of an older age as the content is quite intense which could distress a younger class. 

smart crewA resource that I would use with children of a younger age would be the adventures of Winston, Kara and the SMART crew. These are short video clips with a childlike nature to them whilst still conveying important messages regarding internet safety. 

As part of the Internet Safety TDT I have also linked a short Prezi that I created on the topic which I believe could be used at the end of an Internet Safety lesson to round the topic off. 

https://prezi.com/vq6qwfxrbf-q/internet-safety/