BENEFITS LEARNING OUTSIDE
• connections are made experientially with the real world outside the classroom, helping to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in a meaningful context
• outdoor environments and surroundings act as a rich stimulus for creative thinking and learning. This affords opportunities for challenge, enquiry, critical thinking and reflection
• pupils find that not everything outside matches the models or the textbooks. This does not mean that what they have found is ‘wrong’. Instead, it develops awareness of the complexities of the real world and can help to develop critical thinking skills
• pupils are able to understand the relevance of a subject taught in school to everyday life
• pupils can sometimes behave differently outdoors. Quiet pupils may speak more, others become calmer and more focused when outside, especially in a natural space
• the multi-sensory experience outdoors helps pupils to retain knowledge more effectively. There are opportunities for pupils to learn with their whole bodies on a large scale
• learning in a less structured environment can provide a different learning experience from that of the classroom
• being outdoors can be a more relaxing learning experience for many pupils
Outdoor learning at St Edward’s School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. Learning in outdoor settings offers pupils the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
Pope Francis pleaded in October 2021 for the protection of our environment. He said,
“Future generations will never forgive us if we miss the opportunity to protect our common home.”
Outdoor learning at St Edward’s School supports his view in a range of ways: we enrich the curriculum and make learning fun, meaningful and relevant for pupils. Outdoor learning delivers sustainable development education through initiatives such as working to improve biodiversity in the school grounds, restoring habitats and exploring and engaging with community projects.
As well as supporting the environment, different outdoor learning experiences offer opportunities for learning skills in areas such as communication, problem solving, information technology, working with others and thinking skills. Learning in the outdoors can make significant contributions to literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing.
Outdoor activities such as mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, horticulture, animal husbandry, land management, expeditions and Duke of Edinburgh Award are part of the outdoor curriculum. The school has four paddocks for sheep, pigs, chickens and a Shetland pony. We also offer Forest School to pupils from Year 5 to Year 9. Spending time outside not only aids pupil’s learning but also supports their social, emotional and mental health needs.
The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award continues to be a popular choice for pupils. They develop new skills, become more physically active and gain experience to help prepare for the future. Pupils are also able to gain qualifications in Land Management and Horticulture as part of the ASDAN programme.
Give something back
Learn self- discipline
Enhance your CV
Be part of a team
Explore somewhere new
Enjoy a sense of achievement