The outdoor learning resource Learning Outside the Classroom is a complete and authoritative set of resources to support schools with their outdoor learning. The series, written by Juliette Green and with a Foreword written by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, consists of two books - book one covers Learning Outside the Classroom for EYFS & KS1 and book two covers learning outside the classroom for KS2.
View the video below to find out more about the books from Juliette herself.
‘The educational benefits of outdoor learning for all children and young people are many and varied … [It ] raises standards, reduces truancy and improves behaviour’. These words by Elaine Skates, Deputy Chief Executive for the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC), encapsulate importance of a concept too often lost within a busy school timetable.
'Sometimes misunderstood, ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’, or ‘outdoor learning’ or ‘LOTC’, is here defined as ‘any learning that takes place outside the normal classroom setting – includes parts of the school building, the school grounds and local area, in addition to visits further afield’. LOTC includes but is not the same as ‘outdoor education’ which usually happens in a field base such as a countryside or mountain lodge. The ‘importance’ of the concept cannot, in my opinion, be over-stated – and this very clear and well-resourced new book guide is well-timed in putting it in a fresh, uncluttered manner.
'The guide aims to ‘extend learning beyond the classroom, by using the school grounds and local area as learning environments’; ‘to give ideas and case studies which will help teachers to use outdoor learning in order to deliver a broad, rich and varied curriculum’; ‘to provide suggestions for … challenging, hands-on activities’. LOTC is here so important – as students need to have specific opportunities to make good use of their school sites, which, often, comprise an investment in facilities and resources. Where this does not happen, students will not understand and learn to appreciate their immediate surroundings, or simply take these for granted, never have direct contact and get their hands dirty – and therefore miss out!
'It has a clear, logical flow. The Introduction outlines the research behind the benefits. Healthy and Safety has all relevant details about risk management so crucial for guaranteeing students’ enjoyment. The Strands of LOTC – school grounds, natural environment, heritage, farm and countryside, arts and creativity, sacred spaces, built environment, adventurous education – each provide background information, suggested curriculum activities, links with ‘Every Child Matters’ (so important to both LOTC and Environmental Education – see NAEE’s paper Every Child Matters and Environmental Education) and conclude with case studies where schools have tried and tested their ideas. The latter part of the book has specific suggestions for using school grounds, projects and themed events such as measuring the school’s ‘footprints’ – its impact on the environment and ways we can all reduce this – and photo-copiable activity sheets, a photo competition by the publishers LCP and appendix of resources and websites. This is a superb teacher resource!
'As a book reviewer who regular uses resources in teaching, I can safely say that this guide passes-the-test and stands-out as ‘exceptional’ in a very particular field which needs good, fresh ideas.'
Henricus Peters - CoChair of the National Association for Environmental Education
The Foreword for the Learning Outside the Classroom books has been written by The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) who says about them:
'The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom welcomes the publication of these books, because we believe that learning beyond the classroom walls should be an everyday part of the curriculum. By utilising the school grounds and local area for learning, the opportunities are accessible and relatively straightforward to plan.'
The Council exists to promote and champion Learning Outside the Classroom so all young people benefit from increased opportunities for high quality and varied educational experiences. The Council is now the leading voice for Learning Outside the Classroom, having taken over responsbility for the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto in April 2009, and aims to:
The organisation also provides practical solutions to help educational establishments overcome the perceived barriers to learning outside the classroom. Free online guidance on planning, running and evaluating LOtC experiences can be found on their website at www.lotc.org.uk
The Council's Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge Scheme is a national benchmark that helps teachers identify venues offering good quality learning experiences and manage risk effectively. By selecting Badged venues for educational visits teachers gain assurance regarding the quality and safety of the provision and can reduce red tape when planning visits. For more information visit www.lotcqualitybadge.org.uk/
Juliette Green answers your frequently asked questions about Learning Outside the Classroom in her own words.
What is learning outside the classroom?
What about health & safety?
Learning Outside the Classroom is about recognising that the best place for learning may not always be in a conventional classroom environment. The outdoors should simply be seen as another, much larger classroom, with an abundance of natural resources and many opportunities for hands-on, ‘real-life’ learning. When planning a project or unit of work, teachers should always consider how and where learning would best take place, and plan for frequent, continuous and progressive outdoor learning experiences.
The DCSF's Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto (DfES 2006) says that learning experiences outside the classroom ‘help us to make sense of the world around us by making links between feelings and learning. They stay with us into adulthood and affect our values and the decisions that we make. They allow us to transfer learning experienced outside to the classroom and vice versa.’ and that 'Every young person should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances.'
Learning Outside the Classroom also links very well with the concept of a ‘creative curriculum’, where learning activities are designed to match the needs of the pupils and the geographical and social context of the school.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) states that when pupils are thinking and behaving creatively, you are likely to see them:
The National Curriculum website says 'Learning activities which take place in the school grounds or local area enable children to think and behave imaginatively, the activities have a purpose, and the outcomes produced are original and valuable. Connections can be made between different parts of the curriculum and the children can apply creative thinking in order to solve problems.'
Learning Outside the Classroom book 1 for EYFS & KS1 £49.95 Add to cart
Learning Outside the Classroom book 2 for KS2 £49.95 Add to cart
Learning Outside the Classroom both books - EYFS & KS1 and KS2 £99.90 Add to cart