Marchant E, Todd C, Cooksey R, Dredge S, Jones H, Reynolds D, et al. (2019) Curriculum-based outdoor learning for children aged 9-11: A qualitative analysis of pupils’ and teachers’ views.
‘The relationship between child health, wellbeing and education demonstrates that healthier and happier children achieve higher educational attainment. An engaging curriculum that facilitates children in achieving their academic potential has strong implications for educational outcomes, future employment prospects, and health and wellbeing during adulthood. Outdoor learning is a pedagogical approach used to enrich learning, enhance school engagement and improve pupil health and wellbeing. However, its non-traditional means of achieving curricular aims are not yet recognised beyond the early years by education inspectorates. This requires evidence into its acceptability from those at the forefront of delivery.’
This is a timely and insightful research article. The evidence says ‘yes!’ let’s teach and learn outdoors because teachers are happier, children engage and are motivated, behaviour improves, and learning sticks. However the assessment of learning and OL as an alternative peadagogical approach remains problematic beyond the Foundation Stage and into Primary.
We need to work towards a better understanding of how to include the wider learning potential of OL into the evidence criteria for primary assessment.
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