White Ash School

Learning Outside the Classroom

Learning Outside the Classroom Silver award 2017

 

At White Ash we are committed to Learning Outside the Classroom.  Detailed research into Learning Outside the Classroom has proven that learning outdoors is highly beneficial to all pupils, especially those who are not excelling academically.  At White Ash we take pupils outdoors on a regular basis to either our woodland area on site, or our local forest areas.  In these sessions children take part in a wide variety of activities linking to all their lessons and also activities such as den building, survival skills, sensory trails, team building games, bug hunts, making rope swings and even fire making and outdoor cooking.  The quality experiences children gain from these sessions are outstanding!  Learning outside the Classroom has been shown to improve physical and motor skills, language and communication skills, social skills, team working skills, knowledge and understanding of the environment, increased self-confidence and self-belief as well as increased motivation and concentration.  We feel all of the above are essential skills for our pupils at White Ash.  The results so far have been fantastic!

We have fantastic grounds at White Ash Primary School in which we are able to provide valuable Learning Outside the Classroom. These include our woodland area with a purpose built fire pit and seating area, willow dens, outside reading corner and a mud kitchen.

The mud kitchen provides an incredible range of opportunities for our children’s learning. Children are early explorers, scientists and artists. Curiosity, appeal and the pleasure of finding things out are essential to children’s early development.

        Language development:

  • Playing in a mud kitchen will encourage the most amazing conversations between children. They may recall a real life muddy event, they will use imaginative words to describe the muddy textures and sounds and it’s the perfect opportunity to make up stories, songs and rhymes before, during or after their muddy experience!
  • Reflective Opportunities.
  • New vocabulary: moulding, whisking, patting, smoothing, sticky, mushy, squelchy, oozy, splat, gathering, and garnishing. Mark making-writing menus, making signs and labels.
  • Sharing and exchanging ideas with others.

Imaginative play:

  • The mud can become anything from coffee with 2 sugars to soup, stew, a birthday cake with grass sprinkles or magic potions.
  • Working with their peers to create real life social situations.

Social play:

  • Children learn to co-operate and share their ideas, plan together and help each other. Sharing out as they “serve the dishes “
  • Learning through experiences.
  • Developing of self-confidence and well-being.

Physical skills:

  • An extensive range of actions are involved from pouring, blending, smoothing, scooping, sieving, picking, chopping as they learn to manipulate different tools in the mud.

Maths:

  • Weighing, measuring, adding, comparing, fitting together, counting, sorting, classifying.
  • Problem solving.

Science:

  • Children are involved in a range of sensory experiences as they explore the properties of the mud. Is it dry, wet, clumpy, rough, smooth?
  • Does the mud blend or mix with other substances. How does the mud change over the seasons?
  • Many chances for testing and experimenting.
  • Engagement with the natural environment.
  • To be aware of what is on earth- soil, stones, plants and sand.
  • Caring for what is around us.

But most importantly of all, great fun!

 

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