What you need when starting out-side
This is category is being slowly created to help those who have a whole school remit for learning outdoors and those who are considering the bigger or wider picture around learning outside.
I’ve also included the blog post which raise some of the issues around enabling children to learn and play outdoors.
Schools, nurseries and other organisations doing interesting or sector-leading work
This section carries a health warning. Schools and early years settings change. So the good practice is current when the blog post was written. However good ideas are often timeless…
Middleton Park Primary School is based in Aberdeen and in its excellent March 2016 inspection was noted for using outdoor learning specifically to raise attainment.
A report from St Geradine’s in Lossiemouth about how they kickstarted outdoor learning.
To infinity and beyond. Broxburn Family Centre’s fantastic holiday club show’s that the sky’s not the limit when it comes to quality, adventurous outdoor play provision.
Consistently excellent practice over many years. A credit to the staff, children and families who belong to this remarkable early years centre.
Scottish curriculum matters
A summary of the main points of this key Scottish document.
Considering outdoor learning and play within the context of schools values.
What’s special about the outdoors? Some reasons why learning outside beats being inside, any day.
A digital technology resource that I co-wrote gets an external evaluation (NB this resource is pre-iPad)
Getting It Right for Every Child.
Reflecting on the relationships that build the context of learning outdoors. Thank you Sir Patrick Geddes.
Useful summary by Rob Bushby of the current state of outdoor learning.
Changing hearts and minds
Struggling to get outdoor learning and play happening in your setting. Some useful advice from research into how seemingly impossible changes happen.
When outdoor learning and play feels like a dangerous idea in your school.
Is outdoor learning as boring as lichen?
What a positive promotion of outdoor learning on Valentine’s Day. Why do your staff like learning outside?
Wonderful quote. Worth sharing.
Comparing the risk aversion in education to that in other sectors.
What to try when your child’s school haven’t got going with outdoor learning and play.
A lovely example of one of Inverallochy’s many outdoor newsletters that parents receive.
Why getting outside with your class after the summer holidays is best done as soon as possible.
Any teacher can teach outside! Andrea Stevenson talks about her experiences of getting out there and teaching maths to all ages outdoors with no prior experience.
Tricky issues – practical advice
Squashing some of the myths which go flying around
Practical advice and tips
Don’t wash your hands of this subject.
Myth-busting about cardboard cylinders.
A focus on fungus, mushroom and toadstools and why you needn’t worry if a child touches one.
The answer is most probably “Yes” and that can be a good thing!
Play and playtimes
Practical advice about using tyres for play and gardening in schools.
Every school and nursery needs an outdoor sandpit – and the bigger the better!
Clarification about safety standards and what children play with outside.
How to offer outdoor play from scratch every day.
Oh no! Children are playing outside during class time.
The Barry Island typographic traversing wall created by Gordon Young provides inspiration for playground climbing features
Weather and clothing
Raising the matter of why some primary schools keep children inside during inclement weather when nursery and secondary-aged children have the right to choose?
Letting children feel the cold. Should educators and parents let children suffer?
No need to upset the cleaning and janitorial staff.
Outdoor clothing boxes for schools and nurseries to borrow in NE Scotland.
Creative STAR has clothing boxes that schools and nurseries can borrow for a term at a time to find out what children think and learn about the issues around clothing. After all, if the children have to wear the clothing, it makes sense to ensure they have a say.
It’s not only children who need to be appropriately dressed for being outside.
How wearing outdoor clothing made this happen.
Children will get muddy outdoors. Thank goodness they are 100% washable.
Conversational pieces to get you thinking about some of the issues
When comparing zoo space for chimps and space for children in schools… the chimps get a better deal.
Tackling homophobic abuse is a must for every school. This beautiful guerrilla gardening art project is worth finding out about.
Useful piece to help staff reflect upon the value letting children do things for themselves.
A rope trail that made staff re-think their provision for one child.
Looking back at our addiction to screens over the decades.
Reasons to plant fruit and veg that children want to help themselves to.
Uh oh! How far is too far and when should you step in and intervene?
Timeless play on a boulder outcrop.
What are the signs and notices in your school telling your children about learning and playing outside?
When will schools start encouraging children to bring litterless lunches to school?
Feeling boxed up? Get the X-box D-tox outside!
To die or not to die? An issue that remains live.
We are constantly having to make split decisions as educators. Does this get any easier working outside?
Reigning children in, to get them out.
It’s an educational topic.
Where there’s no sense of place, there no feeling for place.
Thoughts from 2008. Has much changed?
A reflective photo album of why outdoor learning is a key part of the future of Scottish education.
How being outside has helped me cope with interruptions to lessons.
The symbolism of number 11 can be connected to the power of learning outdoors.
Why holidays matter too.
A poem for my vision for 2050