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National Curriculum

Let’s learn outside

Aim

To make the curriculum more flexible, change attitudes to learning and promote children’s creativity.

Action

Using the outside environment as a stimulus and context for learning.

Impact

Children’s attitude to learning and attainment have improved.

Sowerby School has put learning outside at the centre of its curriculum, with exciting results.

‘Children like to be outside… it brings reality and relevance to what they are learning.’ (headteacher)

When Sowerby School reviewed its curriculum, it placed a focus on learning outside the classroom. It recognised that children like being outside, that it makes learning relevant and real, and that the outdoor environment offers rich stimulus material for a wide range of learning activities.

Outside classrooms

The outdoor environment at Sowerby has given children exciting opportunities to develop the essential skills of literacy and numeracy, as well as to discover the natural world outside their door. Children follow numeracy trails, measuring the height and angle of trees or counting and classifying plants and animals. The pond at Sowerby has provided many opportunities for cross-curricular learning. As well as learning about science and developing their numeracy skills, children have been inspired by the rich and varied environment to create art and poems.

Since refocusing its curriculum, Sowerby has seen significant improvements in levels of attainment, particulary in numeracy. The children are happier in an active learning environment, which is reflected in their behaviour and attitudes to learning.

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