Outdoor Learning with Purple Mash

July 4, 2022

Outdoor Learning is active learning where participants learn through what they do, through what they encounter and through what they discover. Participants learn about the outdoors, themselves and each other, while also developing outdoor skills.

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom believes that it is vital for every young child to get frequent and regular opportunities to explore and learn outside the classroom. According to a campaign by Persil, children spend less time outside than prisoners in high security prisons. Contributing factors to reduced access and use of outdoor spaces for many children include increased fear amongst adults and technological advances leading to a prominence in indoor activities such as television and computer games.

Benefits of outdoor learning

Outdoor learning brings a broad range of benefits to pupils, including:

  1. The development of an active and healthy lifestyle.
  2. Increased contact with the natural world.
  3. Helping to understand and respect nature.
  4. The Support of problem solving and nurturing children's creativity.
  5. The development of physical capabilities.
  6. Learning to assess risks and developing skills to manage new situations.
  7. Building on interests and enthusiasm.
  8. Encouraging a sense of wonder and excitement.
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Outdoor learning brings a wealth of benefits to children.

Outdoor learning with Purple Mash

We have created a range of Purple Mash activities to fully embed outdoor learning into the curriculum. They can either be used in the classroom to build on learning and evaluate, or to stimulate exploration and discovery outside the school building. Search Purple Mash for 'outdoor learning' to explore the range of resources.

These resources has been designed to support teachers creating a year-round cross curricular approach for their pupils. They showcase how outdoor learning can support with subjects across the curriculum, including science, literacy, maths, geography, music and art and design. By taking subjects outside the classroom pupils will have the opportunity to be hands on with their learning whilst developing problem solving skills and teamwork to become more independent.

Interest in outdoor learning traditionally peaks during spring and summer however research has shown that pupils benefit most when it happens throughout the year. British Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes considers that there is no such thing as bad weather only inappropriate clothing.

Included in the outdoor learning area are suggested activities for all seasons, including opportunities for learning which can happen whatever the weather. Click the seasonal icons below to discover a range of inspiring activities, from scavenger hunts and pond dipping, to birdsong identification and a minibeast hunt.

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Share your outdoor adventures

As a new theme for Purple Mash we are keen to hear from you, so please share photos of your children taking part in activities or any ideas which you would like us to add to the resource. Use #PMOutdoor on the Purple Mash Twitter or 2Simple Facebook to be in with the chance of winning a class set of bugnoculars!

Happy Purple Mashing!

Useful links

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

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