STILL NOT CONVINCED? HERE’S JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF WHAT THE OUTDOOR CLASSROOM CAN DO FOR YOUR SCHOOL.
Dominique Thomas - Engayne Primary School
HOW JUST TWO WEEKS USING THE OUTDOOR CLASSROOM HELPED ENGAYNE PRIMARY SCHOOL INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND OUTDOOR LEARNING ENGAGEMENT ACROSS THE WHOLE SCHOOL!
75% of staff and pupils actively engaged in Outdoor Learning
93.5 hours of Outdoor Learning recorded in 2 weeks
Subjects taught using The Outdoor Classroom - PE, Maths, English, Science, History, World Book Day
Engayne Primary School is a mid-sized primary school.
The Engayne Primary School we know today was established in 2001 however the schools history spans back over 60 years.
The site is situated on a large grounds which encompasses a small woodland and a dedicated Outdoor Learning area.
To date the school is attended by approximately 630 pupils and the facility is made up of 25 class teachers.
As mentioned in the background section above, Engayne Primary School had previously invested in an ‘Outdoor Learning area’ in order to try and take some of their learning outdoors. This setup features a covered area with some bench seating so that lessons can be delivered outside in all weathers.
Outdoor Learning is without a doubt a hugely beneficial activity for any child to take part in and there are many scientifically proven studies that reference the correlation between Outdoor Learning and increased attainment, cognitive function & overall improvement in mental health.
Engayne Primary School identified the need to build on their Outdoor Learning offering by making it more physically active and decided to invest in The Outdoor Classroom because of the functionality to easily take any subject outdoors and get the children active, which for them was a huge selling point.
Upon investing in The Outdoor Classroom (once taught how to use it) the teachers and pupils started to reap the rewards. Pupils engagement with lessons taught using The Outdoor Classroom was and remains very high, and the teachers, now having a system they can set-up in a few clicks to take lessons outdoors are a lot more enthusiastic about implementing Outdoor Learning into lesson planning.
A big issue with many Outdoor Learning providers is either the lack of variety in what you can teach using it or the set-up takes far too long. The Outdoor Classroom solved both of these problems for Engayne Primary School and as a result:
"This has made teachers more enthusiastic to go outside to learn as the prep is relatively easy. Children are also very enthusiastic when using the app and iPads and some didn’t realise they were really in a ‘lesson’ and ‘learning’ as they were having lots of fun."
So at the time of writing this, Engayne have had The Outdoor Classroom for just over two weeks. In this time they have spent, as a whole school, 93 hours using the system and have logged a massive 69km of distance covered.
They have also been able to further prove the research on the subject of Outdoor Learning in relation to cognitive benefits reporting that, children are more focused not only in the lessons taught using The Outdoor Classroom but additionally in lessons throughout the rest of the day after they’ve done a session.
"We have had a very positive response from the staff that have used the app from reception to Year 5 and 6. The children really love the activity and teachers are finding it a great way to complete cross curricular work."