Learning Beyond Our Classroom
What is learning outside the classroom?
Learning Outside the Classroom embraces the use of places and experiences beyond the classroom for teaching and learning. It can include outdoor play (learning through play), outdoor projects within the Nursery grounds, visiting local places such as religious buildings, museums, shops and natural spaces. It also includes experiences brought into school through visitors and events.
There is strong evidence that good quality outdoor learning adds much value to classroom learning. It brings a deeper understanding of concepts through real world contexts (such as seasonal changes or our place in the local environment), improves mental wellbeing, develops physical skills and supports the development of self-esteem and self-confidence. Learning in natural environments is also associated with building social capital, fostering pride, belonging and community involvement.
Alongside our Forest School provision, we aim to provide our children with weekly opportunities to explore the local environment outside the Nursery grounds. We make the most of our rich surroundings to enhance the children's life experiences. We visit the Rye Park, the open-air swimming pool, the train station, local churches and shops. Our trips to local play parks help extend the children’s physical skills, enabling them to use their whole bodies, balancing, swinging, sliding and climbing. This supports children’s confidence and coordination which are important aspects of a child’s development.
We believe it's more important than ever for our children to learn more about where our food comes from. We have developed a growing area in our roof top garden, where the children are encouraged to grow vegetables and fruit throughout the year. Not only do the children get to enjoy the produce they have grown, but we also like to share it with our Nursery chickens. They are a focal point of our outdoor space and are very partial to our leftovers, so it's fortunate that our Nursery motto is 'Sharing is caring'!
The children are responsible for making sure the chickens have food and water, as well as checking that they are safely shut away at home time. Of course, they get to share the excitement of collecting their eggs too.
We have also developed links with a local care home, with whom we share our singing, sports day fun and our Christmas concert, either in person or more recently, virtually.
These experiences outside the Nursery help the children understand their wider role in society.
"All children have the right to relax and play, and to join a wide range of activities"
(Article 31 - UNCRC)
"Education should help children use and develop their talents and abilities. It should also help them to learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people."
(Article 29 - UNCRC)