In September 2018, St Jospeh's Catholic Primary School introduced an innovative new timetable which was flexible enough to allow for Fridays to be enrichment days. Outdoor Learning was one of a number of different enrichment activities that the children could experience.
During Terms 1 and 2, we delivered weekly Outdoor Learning sessions to Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6 classes. The sessions covered learning objectives from subjects across the school curriculum, including PHSE, with links to the class' termly planning and topics.
Staff accompanied their classes, thereby allowing me to coach them in delivering Outdoor Learning sessions to their whole class. We also included more traditional Forest School type activities which focussed on developing the children's self-esteem, confidence, resilience and social skills.
We evaluated the impact of these sessions, on both pupils and staff, using a variety of assessment methods as well as applying for external accreditation through the Eco Schools award.
At the same time, we worked to develop the school grounds, with the whole school community, for Outdoor Learning. Using this holistic approach to Outdoor Learning, we managed to embed it in the school curriculum and thereby ensure the sustainability of Outdoor Learning as a key part of the whole school curriculum.
From September 2019, staff have been delivering their own outdoor learning lessons, linked to the curriculum, from the whole-school Outdoor Learning curriculum they created for their school.