10. Learning Outside of the Classroom
Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) at Leys Primary School
At the core of the curriculum in England is the statement that every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
- promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
- prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
The contribution of learning outside the classroom in the above areas is widely acknowledged. Taking learning outside the classroom enables pupils to apply what they have learnt inside the classroom in a real world context and equips them with skills (communication skills, team working, problem solving and risk management to name just a few) they will need for real life and employment. The benefits in terms of physical and mental health, expanding the horizons of young people, and changing their environmental behaviours and attitudes are also well evidenced.
At Leys Primary School, we feel that learning outside the classroom can add value to teaching and learning across all areas of the curriculum and therefore it is mapped into our curriculum on a regular basis.
The school is committed to LOtC through the on-going development of its own outdoor environment. At Leys Primary School we have on site:
- A large field
- A large playground
- An 'out-door' gym
- A stage area
- Outdoor seating and shade
- Climbing frame and climbing wall
- Monkey Bars
- Painted courts to encourage a variety of physical games and activity
- We also have designated, and fully equipped, outdoor garden areas for Nursery; and similar for our children in Reception and Year 1.
We are also lucky in that we have excellent spaces available to us within a short distance of the school that we visit regularly throughout the year.
- Beam Parklands.
- The Chase Nature Reserve
- RSPM Rainham Marshes
We also plan and take children on visits much further afield as part of their learning. Some of these take place at the beginning of our ‘topics’ during the ‘engage’ stage in order stimulate curiosity and excitement about the learning. Places we have visited include:
- Colchester Zoo
- Museums: e.g. The Museum of Childhood, Science Museum, Natural History Museum;
- The London Aquarium
- Chalkwell Beach
- Thorndon Park
- Trewern Outdoor Activity Center, (situated on the Welsh/English border)
Sometimes in order to actively take part in our outdoor curriculum, children will bring home a letter asking for ‘old clothes’ to be brought to school for specific activities. Other times they may just go outside as part of the teaching and learning. Please ensure that your child comes to school suitably dressed for the weather so that they are able to participate comfortably outdoors in the curriculum at Leys Primary School.
Letters will be sent home with your child for specific visits which will require consent from the person with parental responsibility.