Week 11

AH YES, Outdoor Learning.  Marvelous stuff, Outdoor Learning.  Slight variation on indoor learning, where we remove the walls and the roof from around the children, and also the floor for that matter...along with any form of indoor civilisation such as plumbing, electricity or indoor heating.  Brilliant.  

And they love it, too! Oh yes, they get very excited I'll have you know.  They grab their wellies with much aplomb and fervent fervour (say that 10 x fast) and brace against the elements.  In what way do they do this, I hear you ask?  Well my friend, pull up a chair and let me tell you because we got up to all sorts.  

Firstly we were not disuaded by the elements, no sir we were not.  But tightening our coats, pulling our hats a little lower and our boots, a little higher, we went out into the big, brave world and began the week with an interesting activity of "stick men" building from Woodpeckers.  They sought high, they sought low and gathered various shaped sticks and twigs, leaves and grasses and turned them into their own little nature toys.  While Foxes and Hedgehogs continued on in similar fashion by creating "natural toy houses" for their outdoor toys to shelter from the various weathers they might come across.  I liked how this lesson in particular helped the children to understand concepts such as shapes, structures, how to balance objects to make them go into the way they want.  It was really interesting to see them engage with the challenges they came across in building as the lesson went on and to be able even to link it into maths or science for example.  In a very simple form perhaps, but there nontheless.

What was quite funny to hear, was one child refer to me as some sort of BBC Childrens TV Presenter during the toy house building activity.  I didn't know which (No, not Aunty Mabel, behave yourselves!) but some of the other TAs agreed. 

Well, if you're going to do an activity on the small scale, why not repeat it on the grand scale also?  So we come next to Outdoor Learning Lunch Club (also known as "Outside with Andy" 'Let's come outside') where we began to build a den for the children to hang out in, have lessons in, or simply just engage in the natural surroundings that are in our school.  It's a long way off finishing, but I'll upload photos as we go.  I think this one is definitely going to be a working progress for a few months.  

Who next?  Let me tell you of the wonderful world of minibeasts were Butterflies came out and found some "dino eggs" that had been "dug up" from the ice age and needed excavating.  Amazing how effective some of our children can be with a hammer.  With adult supervision of course.  Bees had their own excavating to do by looking for dinosaurs bones that had appeared in our Outdoor Learning area and trying to decide what bones would go where on a dinosaurs body.

Elm and Rowan did something that was so simple and yet wonderfully effective as a lesson in their own "treeish" way.  For Elm we gathered two different colours of balls and linked into the childrens IEPs of being able to follow simple instructions to help the childrens understanding and communication.  For Rowan we made this a bit more physically challenging by having them gather the different types of balls under a time limit to see if we could develop team work and individual skills.  Have a look at the gallery to see them in action 

 

 

 
 

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Swinton

Springwood Primary School (Years 1 – 6)

Barton Road

Swinton

Manchester

M27 5LP

Tel: 0161 778 0022

Craig Hall

Springwood Primary School

Preston Avenue

Irlam

Manchester

M44 5XB

Tel: 0161 921 2170