Ideas to inspire your Outdoor Learning. Make it Outdoor Classroom Day every day!
Outdoor Classroom Day took place this year on 12th October 2017 with 19,800 schools getting involved and spending the day (or part of the day) learning outside the classroom with their pupils. This is an amazing collaborative effort, not just in the UK but across the World, with 2.3 million children across 105 countries taking part, quite an achievement for an initiative that started off just in London in 2012, as Empty Classroom Day.
…but shouldn’t this sort of outdoor learning be taking place every day, in every school across the world, even in the Autumn term?!
To help inspire you to get your class outside this Autumn and at Outdoor Classroom Day, we have collected some simple ideas to use the natural resources around you for outdoor learning.
Waxed Autumn Leaves
Taken from ‘Learning with Nature’, by Marina Robb (Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery), Victoria Mew and Anna Richardson.
- Gather many varieties of Autumn leaves, press and dry them in books or a flower press. The leaves take a few days to dry. Either prepare this part in advance, or see the gathering of the leaves as a separate activity.
- Light a fire. Melt beeswax in a pan over the fire.
- Take the pan off the fire and dip the leaves. To do so safely, hold the leaf stem and dip. Avoid immersing the fingers!
- Take the leaf out of the wax, hold above the pan and immediately shake downwards to remove extra wax before it dries. Avoid shaking side to side as droplets of wax can go over clothing.
- Blow the leaves gently to complete the drying.
- The wax coating will help to preserve the leaves. They can be used for all sorts of crafts, and are especially lovely when threaded.
Create your own Environmental Art projects
- Collect fallen leaves of different colours and shapes
- Be as creative as you like – create raindows, sunbursts, collages of animals, abstract art
- Take inspiration from environmental artists like Andrew Goldsworthy or Nils-Udo
- Collect a big pile of sticks
- Divide your class in to groups
- Set them the challenge – who can build the highest twig tower?
- How can you measure which one is the tallest?
- How many sticks did each tower use?
- How could you use fewer sticks and still make the tallest tower?
For more ideas and inspiration did you know Circle of Life Rediscovery can come to your school to run bespoke Inset training in your school grounds, or you can bring your staff to our beautiful Sussex woodland site.
Contact us here for more details or call 01273 814226.
We also run CPD courses throughout the year on a number of different topics, please see our website for details.
Happy Outdoor Learning!
Katie Scanlan, Operations Manager, Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC.