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Y2 outdoor learning

Discussion in 'Primary' started by KAC89, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Hi. I am going to a new school in Sept to year 2 which I have done before, but my new classroom has a door to the outside with a large enclosed outdoor space. I am keen to use this space well, but would love to hear from any y2 teachers that currently utilise an outdoor space. What activities to do have out there? How do you organise when children access the outdoor? Do you record/assess any of the learning that goes on outside? Do you have specific objectives? Any ideas really to stop it just being a 'playtime'! Thanks in advance.
  2. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    I'm not a fan of outdoor learning for year 2. I feel that a lot of outdoor activities are planned in just for the sake of being outdoors when better concentration and learning can take place indoors. Your year 2's need a strong learning objective and a structured activity with adult support if you are going to stop it being 'playtime'. And yes, if you are outside, record and assess as you would inside through written work, photos and adult notes. Personally I would have them inside much of the time and working hard in readiness for juniors.
  3. How interesting, I take the opposite view I think excellent learning can (and does in my class)take place outside so I think it would be a terrible shame not to use your outdoor space. Using the outdoor space has to be planned for and not used as an add on for the sake of it, it takes some time and effort to set it up properly.
    My class understand that if they are outside they are outside to learn. You need to put in solid ground work at the beginning of the year setting high expectations for behaviour and for independent learning. The children need to see the space as an outdoor extension to the classroom as distinct from a playground. As a class we discuss my expectations for outdoor learning behaviours and together we do a risk assessment which I display outside (hand washing, that sort of thing).
    I limit the number of children in the outdoor space to e.g. one group of six at a time (although we do use it as a whole class too). I treat it in the same way I would for any group of children working independently so the children know that they are expected to stay on task and record their learning in either written work, video, photographs or voice recording and this is reviewed and/or shared either as a mini plenary within the lesson or at the end of the session. Either my TA or myself will visit the group outside to monitor, assess and question exactly as we would inside.
    I have a really good book on outdoor learning in KS1 (there are many books about foundation stage but not so many about KS1) I'm trying to remember the title as I have lent it to a collegue, when I do I'll post it here.
  4. Would love to know the title too yirg, as I am in the process of trying to set up an outdoor area outside too for Y1.

    No experienced advice to give you, but I'm going to paint a big piece of wood with blackboard paint and fasten it to the wall so the kids can write on it.
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Do your juniors not learn outdoors at all?
    Which can take place indoors or outdoors
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  7. Thanks for all the replies, including the links to further information. All very useful and given me great ideas! I would like to see the outdoor area as an extension to the classroom, so am with you yirg. The book sounds useful - as you say most outdoor learning stuff is tailored to FS.
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  9. Found it
    Outdoor Play: Providing Continuity in Purposeful Play and Exploration (Carrying on in Key Stage 1) by Sally Featherstone, Lynne Broadbent and Ros Bayley.
    It has one good write up on Amazon and one really bad one. Personally I liked it and have used it as a spring board for other ideas and extended some of the ideas that it gives. I think if you've got an early years background it may not be so handy.
  10. Some interesting links there Msz, thank you for those.
  11. Thank you so much for the recommendations with the book, I have already ordered it!

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