Presentation on theme: "Learning outside the classroom justification. Pupils within a Year 2 class needed to reconnect and be inspired to engage in their learning, particularly."— Presentation transcript:
Pupils within a Year 2 class needed to reconnect and be inspired to engage in their learning, particularly in terms write imaginative, interesting and thoughtful texts. ‘Learning experiences outside the classroom have a positive impact on motivation because they offer young people a different kind of stimulus, providing them with opportunities to learn that suit them as individuals,’ (LOTC, 2012).
Sue Waite (2011) a research fellow in the Faculty of Education at the University of Plymouth states within her research article that outdoor experiences within a natural environment appear to produce long lasting learning and the experience of real-life creatures fosters learning. Children benefit from these outdoor multi-sensory experiences as they provide a positive learning opportunity which continues to endure. Abington Park is an ideal location as it provides an expanse of opportunity for learning across core and foundation subjects within a safe and convenient setting. The park is a large enclosed gated area and would allow the pupils to explore a new environment; within a secure gated area, suitable facilities, visual stimulus which allows for cross-curricular opportunities and creativity.
Through assessing the pupil progress of an upper key stage 1 year 2 class of 28 pupils, a gap was identified with the writing Assessment Focus (AF) 1 – write imaginative, interesting and thoughtful texts. The gap was especially noticed in the area of: mostly relevant ideas and content, sometimes repetitive or sparse. This was a common factor for both boys and girls across Levels 2 and 3. Within the class many of the mixed ability boys were reluctant, unmotivated writers who had disconnected with their learning and enthusiasm for writing. Although the girls in the class were more productive with their writing, there was still a lack of ideas and content and they often repeated the same ideas for different concepts. Due to this assessment gap, creative writing was identified as an area that needed particular focus in order to meet the needs of the pupils and fill the gaps within their APP. This would also have a beneficial impact of increasing the attainment levels within the whole class.
Learning outside the classroom provides teacher with the opportunity to make cross curricular links across foundation subjects. During the day the foundation subjects Art, ICT and Geography (with cross-curricular links to DT, English, Maths and P.E) will be incorporated into each of the activities by allowing the children to explore their new surroundings and hone on to skills that they have been practising in school and putting them into a new context. All the foundation subject activities being held on that day will also still be linked to the main overall term theme ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. Their first activity, which involves the children making a den for a bear, links to Art and DT. The children are allowed to explore and experiment with the environment around them and have to learn to work in a team in order to design a quality product. The second activity, which involves the children creating a storyboard about the adventures of the bear, incorporates ICT, English and Geography. They children will be using ICT to record their storyboard; English to create the story using their imagination; and Geography as they will be finding uses for the natural environment that they are in. The third activity incorporates aspects of P.E, Geography and Maths. The children are using a map with coordinates to help them find the stolen bear! Coordinates is a topic they have been learning about in Geography, but also has clear links with Maths. By using a map to find checkpoints there are also clear links with the topic orienteering taught in P.E. This trip, as you can see, allows for a huge range of foundation subjects to be covered in a small amount of activities.
By allowing the pupils this outside of the classroom experience creates a valuable opportunity to build upon their learning and to develop their understanding further. This understanding along with the development of new skills can provided the pupils with many successful learning opportunities that can be fulfilled back in the classroom environment. School pupils should be provided with the opportunity to explore the world around them as these experiences can add additional value to their knowledge and understanding.
Lesson reflection by the teacher, allows for areas of planning success to be identified. These successes can then be utilised again in terms of what worked well for the pupils and how they were engaged and responded to the different types of activities. This offers the teacher a more in-depth understanding of the planning needs within the class, identifies areas that may require more flexibility and diversity which can be used within future planning. Meeting these needs will improve the pupils’ experiences in the lesson and offer them the increased opportunity to be successful in their learning and meet the learning intention.
Arthur and Cremin suggest ‘Always evaluate out of the classroom studies and gain an understanding of what the children have gained from the experience. You must appreciate how the outdoor learning has benefitted the children and how effectively it fitted with your planned learning,’ (2010, pg. 173).
Arthur, J., and Cremin, T. (2010) Learning to Teach in the Primary School. Second Edition. Abingdon: Routledge. DfES (2006a) Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto. London: DfES. DfES (2006c) Working Together to Safeguard Children. Every Child Matters. London: TSO. Higham, J. and Yeomans, D. (2007) Curriculum choice, flexibility and differentiation. The way forward or a flawed prospectus? Vol.5 (No.3), pp. 281-297. LOTC (2012) Council for learning outside the classroom. Shropshire: [online] Available from: http://www.lotc.org.uk [Accessed: 16 th May 2014]http://www.lotc.org.uk Waite, S. (2011) ‘Memories are made of this’: some reflections on outdoor learning and recall. Vol.35 (No.4), pp. 333-347.