Outdoor Learning Day 2021
Outdoor Classroom Day is a global movement to make time outdoors part of every child’s day. On Thursday 4th November 2021, teachers take children outdoors to play and learn. All year round, the Outdoor Classroom Day community campaigns for more time outdoors every day.
Nursery had a fun filled day of learning outdoors. The children developed their Physical development and communication and language. They enjoyed making muddy mixtures. Then used sticks to paint marks and shapes, helped prepare our bonfire (pretend) ready for Bonfire night to add glitter. We have really enjoyed being wrapped up in a comfy clothes and enjoying the outdoors. We then enjoyed talking about familiar experiences of playing outside while we had a drink and snack outside!
The children enjoyed learning outside for the whole day. The reception children completed their maths learning outside, investigating different ways of creating circles and triangles using natural items, they also explored different construction activities, planted bulbs which will flower in the spring and enjoyed a chilly snack outside.
In the afternoon, the children used natural items to create transient art and discussed the textures, colours and shapes they were using. We ended the day by sharing a chapter of our class book, "The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark" - the children could recall the events of the previous chapter and were excited to find out what happens next.
The children learned about the properties of circles and triangles and how to identify them, they developed their gross and fine motor skills in the construction area, they developed their social skills through turn taking and problem solving. The children have also learned about bulbs, how they grow and how they can take care of them. During our story time, the children were learning how to listen to a story, recall the events of the story and how to talk about the characters in the story.
Key Stage 1
LQ: How do you use natural resources to build a London monument?
Year 1 worked in small groups to construct their own versions of London monuments. The children persevered with different construction methods and resources e.g. cellotape, string and elastic bands. By the end of the session, the children were able to discuss which materials worked best for constructing their model. They could also explain which monument they had chosen and what each part of their model represented.
LQ: How do you sort natural and man- made materials? How do you use suitable materials to make a den? :
The children sorted a selection of building materials into natural and man-made. They discussed their properties and why they would be suitable for certain features. The children then used the materials to create a den. The children worked together to decide which materials would be useful and purposeful. It was great to see fantastic team work and communication from all the children.
Key Stage 2
LQ: What is the permeability of different types of soil?
On Thursday, Year 3 investigated soil permeability. They first of all learnt what the word permeability meant and we discussed how we could test this out. The children went outside to find 4 types of soil: top soil, clay soil, compost and peaty soil and learnt how they are different. They used filter paper, a funnel and water to test the permeability of each of the soils with a fair test. They made a prediction and used maths to measure the amount of water that had filter through in 5 minutes. At the end of the experiment, the children had to rank the soil from most permeable to least permeable.
LQ: What do Squirrels eat?
The title of our outdoor learning session was “what do squirrels eat?” On Thursday, Y4 wanted to find out what squirrels prefer to eat during the autumn. The children discussed what a squirrel was, they conclude that a squirrel is a mammal, that eats seeds and nuts.
During our investigation, the children chose three different types of seeds to test then place an equal amount of each into three separate bowls. They put the bowls in an area that squirrels regularly visit within the school grounds. Over 24 hours, the children took it in turns to monitor the bowls and observe any animals that may have visited the site. When they collected the bowls after 24 hours, each group weighed any remaining seeds and record the results accurately. The children then repeat the investigation again to ensure the investigation had increased validity.
Here, the children were learning how to record, interpret and conclude findings from data. Children monitored the eating behaviour of squirrels to learn about the type of food they prefer to eat. They have also learnt about herbivores, the habitat of a squirrel and where a squirrel may feature in the food chain during this task. They understand the importance of a fair test when conducting an experiment and can assess what factors need to be the same/different to make an investigation fair.
LQ: How do we make a record of our journey?
On Outdoor Learning Day, Year 5 had lots of fun walking around our school grounds. We went with a purpose in mind...create a journey stick. First we had to find a nice, dry stick. Then we attached string to our sticks. We set off on our journey around school, collecting all the things we found on our way. We were only allowed to collect fallen natural items. We attached these to our sticks in different ways using the string.
LQ: How do I estimate and measure the height of trees?
For outdoor learning day, Year 6 spent the afternoon outside, looking at the different trees that we have in our playground at Barnburgh. Year 6 learnt and attempted to use different forms of measurement, in terms of measuring the height of trees and the diameter of the tree trunks. Working in pairs, they used a pencil at a distance aligned to the tree height and their partner, then rotated their pencil 90 degrees. The person holding the pencil then instructed their partner as to how far they needed to walk and where to exactly, in order to be in line with the end of the pencil. They then used a mixture of: trundle wheels, metre sticks and tape measures, to measure the distance between the bottom of the tree trunk and their partner. Before measuring the height, they worked together to estimate the height of the tree. Each pair measured 6 trees in the playground and so were able to use previous measurements as comparisons, when estimating the height of the next tree. This was a new way of measuring for all of the children and one which they did not come up with when we discussed some ways that we could measure the tree heights. After measuring the height, we approximately measured the diameter of the tree trunks, using arm span and measuring with their palms. We discussed why this may not be accurate (e.g. different arm spans and sized palms). Year 6 also had the added enjoyment of spending the end part of the session 'tree hugging' when measuring the diameter.