Outdoor learning in Sheffield

Hear why three Sheffield-based teachers decided to take their learning outside the classroom - and see their pupils in action!

Three schools in Sheffield decided to take their learning outdoors, which is great for boosting children's confidence, concentraion and happiness.  Below are just some of the reasons they made the decision....

Prince Edwards school sits in one of the most deprived wards in the city, where around 20% of pupils don’t speak English as their first language. The school moved to a new, greener site recently and staff have been working hard to make children feel settled and at home. Thanks to the dedication of outdoor learning coordinator Charlotte Varley, this year every pupil in the school gets to spend lesson time in a new wildlife garden! Children who couldn’t name a woodlouse are now using identification keys with confidence to find out about their local wildlife.

Yewlands School recently decided to reach out to year six pupils from feeder primary schools who might find transition to secondary school a particularly difficult time. As well as the usual visits to school, Transition Leader Lucy Wragg organised ‘Transition Forest School’ for the pupils, where they could relax, build their confidence and bond, to give them the best possible start to the next important stage in their lives.

Grenoside School has a strong history of outdoor learning, and science coordinator Jenni Monach recently took pupils through their paces at the Greno Woods obstacle course challenge as a way of rewarding them for their hard work throughout the year. Jenni, a firm outdoor learning advocate, was adamant that this was the best possible motivation for pupils, boosting not only their learning and their physical skills, but their mental health too.

These fantastic examples of outdoor learning are being showcased by the Sheffield Teach Wild Network – which is helping schools in the Sheffield area use great outdoor learning to give children the best possible start in life. The network shares best practice, handy tips, resources and news through emails and termly meetings. Run by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, it is made possible thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery and supported by school improvement body Learn Sheffield.

Find out more about the network and other outdoor learning opportunities in Sheffield at wildsheffield.com/outdoorlearningwhatsnew