Consortium Steps Forward to Support Schools to Re-Open By Taking Learning Outdoors

The leading governing bodies and associations involved in helping schools take teaching and learning beyond the classroom have united to set out an ambitious but simple plan to help schools adapt their lessons, curriculum and learning environments.

The Move to Learning Outdoors

The DfE Guidance (COVID-19) offers useful advice on protective measures for outdoor learning. The consortium highlights that delivering programmes of regular, progressive lessons outside the classroom will make a significant contribution to:

  • “Enabling schools to deliver their curriculum safely and effectively.
  • Delivering benefits to pupil health and wellbeing, both at home and at school
    build better home school learning partnerships (enabling teachers to develop.
  • Consistent learning experiences for all their pupils whether at school or home) mitigate against widening inequalities resulting from school closures.”

Quoted from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) article.

Turning Learning Inside Out

We agree that taking lessons outside is a vital tool for schools to help deliver their whole curriculum whilst ensuring students keep active, stay healthy and keep learning. The outdoor education/ the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) consortium are resourced to support schools and teachers to take their play, lessons and learning activities outside following Government guidance for safe practices:

“The consortium can support schools through the recovery period in 3 main ways:

  • Offer schools access to quality-assured resources and CPD to help them develop, deliver, and evaluate their own programmes of learning beyond the classroom, whether at school or at home.
  • Offer schools support from independent, skilled professionals to help identify high quality support and resources most appropriate to meet their needs, and to accompany them (if needed) as they take their learning outside.
  • Help schools learn from each other by sharing their experiences of planning, delivering and evaluating their adapted, learning beyond the classroom practice.”

Quoted from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) article.

Making This Happen

Juniper Education has highlighted many of the resources and delivered the same messages through their social media platforms, and the Educational Visits Support service. Our partnership work with Edufocus EVOLVE and The Outdoor Education Adviser Panel (OEAP) has ensured that access to many of these resources which have been facilitated by the work of the consortium.

Progress So far

The Consortium is working with many agencies and teaching unions to provide the best support for schools, families and providers of learning beyond the classroom experiences: “We are working to promote the supporting role that learning outside the classroom and outdoor sector providers can play as more schools re-open.” Such as:

  • Promoting the role of schools in an equitable green recovery from COVID-19
  • Securing clarity and support for all sides affected by the cancellation of educational travel and trips.

The consortium is facilitated by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) with the support of the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel, the Institute of Outdoor Learning, and lead bodies from each of the CLOtC sector partnerships. These partnerships include, for example: school travel, expeditions, natural environment and school grounds. Plus the following networks: The Outdoor Council, Association of Heads of Outdoor Centres, British Activity Providers Association, and Expedition Providers Association.

This blog summarises the full article produced by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC), see the full article on their website.

Be Ready For When Your School Goes Back To Normality!

Our online ‘Educational Visits’ and ‘Critical Incident Planning’ training can be completed anytime, anywhere.

Norberto Fusi

Norberto Fusi

Norberto is the Educational Visits Adviser for Juniper Education. He has worked in secondary schools for 11 years and managed a residential Education Centre for Essex County Council for 20 years. Over the past 11 years, Norberto has been a member of the Outdoor Education Adviser Panel (OEAP), an assessor for the LOtC Quality Badge, and associate adviser for EVOLVEAdvice.

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