Outdoor learning sessions support wellbeing
Ditcheat Primary take part in outdoor learning
Published: 23rd Feb 2022
Since September we have been running outdoor learning sessions with the students at Ditcheat Primary in a project to look at the benefits of regular outdoor education. Each Friday the students have been taking part in outdoor lessons either on their school site, or on the reserve at Carymoor.
The child-led, outdoor learning sessions aim to support the school curriculum as well as being focused on the wellbeing of the students. Wild games, orienteering, den building, fire lighting, team challenges and natural crafts are just some of the things that the children have been experiencing, whilst students in Year 5 and 6 are working towards their John Muir Discovery Award which places an emphasis on discovering, exploring, and conserving wild spaces.
Students have been creating willow hurdles, with creativity being encouraged to weave in different styles. Replica buildings have been built using natural materials found on site, and these have been worked on over the weeks to improve their structure and extensions added. Wild play in the woods has been encouraged, making dens, looking for signs of wildlife and making birds’ nests. Fun activities included cooking popcorn over an open fire.
The University of Exeter is helping the Trust, and School, to understand the impact and value of their work by monitoring the students’ progress and collating responses to questions about health and wellbeing.
There is already mounting evidence that connection with nature improves learning and behaviour, and we are looking forward to receiving the results of this study and offering out this provision to other schools who may be interested in a similar programme for their students.