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Local school embraces outdoor learning

Published: 29/09/2021

Ysgol Derwenfa Leeswood, staff and pupils embracing outdoor learning this autumn. Leeswood Primary School (12 of 12).jpg

The whole school enjoyed an autumn themed day with outdoor learning experts Polly and Carolyn.  All children from nursery to year 6 used natural materials to play, create and learn. 

The benefits of outdoor learning have been captured by Ysgol Derwenfa’s staff after inspiring training sessions with local outdoor learning practitioners took place at school, and now rolling out in full force to pupils with Autumnal themed outdoor learning day. 

Using the outdoors as a classroom has endless holistic benefits for both children and staff.  School staff are enjoying training which started back in June and now feel inspired to use the outdoors come rain or shine.  Their ideas and knowledge on how they can use nature based activities, exploration and play are being developed bringing many positive learning outcomes to the pupils and how well it links to the curriculum.  All involved are enjoying using naturalLeeswood Primary School (10 of 12).jpg items whether it be sticks for numeracy and leaves for literacy every element can be cross curricular and wellbeing rich.  

Connecting with nature is important for the children’s understanding of their outdoor spaces, to care for nature and the environment and successfully link to classroom subjects in fun and engaging ways leaving lasting memories and high quality learning experiences. 

Head teacher Mr Andrew Jones said: 

“Following the outdoor training course by Polly Snape and Carolyn Burkey back in June, we are excited and enthusiastic to develop our outdoor area and the overall use of the outdoors.  We are extremely lucky to have wonderful grounds and with their help we are learning about the natural resources and how we can enhance our lessons and embrace the new curriculum through outdoor learning. As part of our “small school funding”, we are delighted that Polly and Carolyn have returned to deliver this autumnal session to the whole school and provide this staff training session after school.”

Flintshire’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said: Leeswood Primary School (8 of 12).jpg

“It is very pleasing to see Flintshire children are getting outdoors.  The wellbeing and educational benefits of outdoor learning have no bounds.  The school are making the most of this opportunity to upskill the staff and engage the children in these sessions, establishing a future of inspirational learning within their school grounds.  I am sure they are having so much fun using the natural materials to learn and play.”