Outdoor Learning

Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?

At SPJS we teach outdoor learning so that children have hands on experiences through which they develop their understanding and application of our school values and successful learning skills. All outdoor learning is planned around the curriculum currently being studied, which gives depth, enrichment and an outdoor perspective for our children. We want children to have the opportunity to be able to explore and learn outside throughout the year, experiencing the seasons and changing nature around them. We recognise that many of our children do not get the equal opportunities outside school to experience the outdoors and nature.

This is why we feel outdoor learning is an essential part of our science curriculum. It permeates through the lessons and is used to create cross curricular links.



What do we teach? What does this look like?

Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision, which aims to enable all children to work in a fun, safe and inclusive environment. We provide inspirational learning opportunities for all children as they aspire to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens with a sense of pride in themselves and their school. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. Outdoor learning is planned to enrich and enhance the children’s in-school learning experiences. Children also have opportunities to learn specific outdoor skills which link closely to successful learning/learning to learn. For example; respect for the environment, themselves and others; working within safe boundaries which they learn to recognise and manage themselves.

Outdoor learning takes place on our school grounds as well as our school allotment and surrounding area.

Discrete outdoor learning lessons are timetabled for each class once every three weeks to ensure high quality outdoor learning throughout the year. This is in addition to separate outdoor learning the children will engage in with their class teachers.

Although these are discrete lessons, outdoor learning links very closely with our science curriculum. Many of the science topics (including living things and their habitats, animals including humans, plants and life cycles) require children to have knowledge of the world around them. We are lucky enough to have resources at our fingertips that the children can be exposed to first hand. This will help to enrich their experiences and make them relevant to the real world. They can then bring this knowledge back into the classroom and can be used to fuel discussions.



What will this look like?

  • By the time children leave our school they will:
  • Have enjoyed hands on experiences learning outdoors which will add to their understanding and learning of a wide variety of curriculum areas to improve children’s life skills and experiences;
  • To build self-esteem and confidence in children;
  • To build resilient, determined and successful learners;
  • To develop children’s personal, social and emotional development;
  • To develop and build the ideas of risk management and risk benefit;
  • To enable children to gain a respect for the natural environment and wildlife;
  • Have developed imagination and creativity through exploration of the outdoors;
  • Have developed resilience through challenging activities and working in all weathers ;
  • Have developed co-operation/collaboration skills through team work;
  • Have an understanding of nature, the world around us, growing plants and vegetables;
  • Have contributed to the development of our school grounds and looking after the world around us.

Subject Leaders: Pat Galligan and Sally Fox

If you would like more information about how this subject is taught, please contact Mrs Galligan and Miss Fox by emailing the school office at office@spjs.org

 Outdoor Learning Collage of Images

Useful Links