Free Outdoor Learning Resources for Primary Schools

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Free outdoor learning resources from the Times Educational Supplement.

Embrace the learning potential of the outdoor environment with this hand-picked selection of resources

As unpredictable as the British weather is, you can guarantee that as soon as the sun does come out your pupils will be longingly staring out the window and asking, “Miss, can we work outside?” And, who are we kidding; it’s probably where you want to be too!

That’s why we’ve gathered together an engaging collection of ideas for both core and cross-curricular lessons, designed to get students out in the fresh air. From investigation to imagination, outdoor learning will feel like a treat for your class this summer.

Core subject resources

The great outdoors, also known as your school playground, has the potential to bring maths lessons to life. This tree challenge activity, based on calculating the age of a tree, allows students to demonstrate their understanding of measurement in an interesting way. Similarly, captivate budding detectives with this easy-to-use maths trail, testing their knowledge of a variety of topics as they solve a puzzle.

Explore the world of flowers, fruits and seeds with this scientific resource pack, containing an array of activities to help learners understand the lifecycle of plants and seed dispersal. Alternatively, let nature inspire your pupils’ writing outside of the classroom with the suggestions in this booklet.

More information and access to additional resources from TES here.

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RGS & Geographical Young Geographer of the Year Competition

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What makes the Arctic unique?

This year’s Young Geographer of the Year competition gives pupils the opportunity to explore the geography of the Arctic – in doing so, they will discover what makes this polar environment so unique.

The Arctic is an environment like no other. It is home to four million people, supports an abundance of uniquely adapted wildlife, and plays an important role in moderating the world’s climate system. However, the Arctic is a dynamic environment that is undergoing change. How do these changes affect the Arctic itself and the rest of the world?

The competition has four categories: KS2 (pupils aged 9-11), KS3 (pupils aged 11-14), GCSE (pupils aged 14-16) and A Level (pupils aged 16-18). The Society encourages schools to run their own semi-finals before entering their top-placed entries into the national competition. For more information on the Arctic see the Discovering the Arctic website and the NERC Arctic Office website.

The deadline for all entries is 5.00pm on Wednesday 10 October 2018.

More information.

Young Geographer of the Year Competition Guidelines

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Outdoor Classroom Day

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Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outdoors and prioritise playtime. In 2017, over 2.3 million children worldwide took part, more than 580,000 of those were in the UK and Ireland.

Outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature. Play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity, but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood.

So that schools can participate on a day that fits with their term times, the UK and Ireland campaign has two dates in 2018 — Thursday 17 May and Thursday 1 November. Sign up below for one or both and help build a movement that gets children outdoors to play and learn every day! 

17th May is Outdoor Classroom Day. You can download resources and find out about inspiring ways to get your whole school involved.

More information and how to get involved here.

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Local School Nature Grants Available

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The Learning Through Landscapes Trust are offering Local School Nature Grants  which will provide £500 of equipment and a free training session for your school.

The grants provide an assortment of nature equipment up to the value of £500 and a two hour training session. The packages are customisable, enabling Infant, Primary and Secondary schools to choose from a menu of items which best suit their learners and their setting. All schools in England, Scotland and Wales are welcome to apply.

More information and how to apply here.

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Bronze Expedition Options Trial

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The DofE are currently running a trial to alter elements of the expedition section aimed at making the bronze award more accessible to young people and schools.

We’re offering Licensed Organisations five new options as part of a UK-wide trial, which you can choose to use with your Bronze groups. Running this trial will let us assess if using these options improves the number of participants starting and completing their programme or the Expedition section, without having a detrimental effect on the powerful impact that undertaking an expedition has on participants.

You can opt to use them as part of the trial this year and, if we do make them available as part of the programme in the longer term, they’ll still be options that can be used as local needs dictate.

More information on the Bronze Expedition Options Trial available here.

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Mountain Training – Our Ethos

Mountain Training Awards in the words of people who hold leadership qualifications.

Mountain Training is the collection of awarding bodies for skills courses and qualifications in walking, climbing and mountaineering in the UK and Ireland.

More information from: http://www.mountain-training.org

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Schools’ Half Term Offer from Kingswood

Kingswood Learning are offering a free day visit when a two-night Centre stay is booked for schools’ half term.

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For more information call 0​8​0​8​1​ ​4​9​8​ ​3​8​9, email groups@kingswood.co.uk or make an enquiry here. Quote SCHOOLS OUT 18 and book by 30th April.

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Funding Support for Schools

yha banner picFunding support is available for schools via the YHA’s Breaks programme

Educational Breaks Programme

Our Educational Breaks Programmes offers support to educational groups where members of the group are eligible for pupil premium and where children and young people face additional social challenges.

Apply for our Educational support programme

Challenging Places Programme

Our Challenging Places Programme aims to reach those children and young people who live in areas recognised as being amongst the most deprived.

Apply for our Challenging Places support programme

More information available from:

Michael Sabin, Group Sales Manager, YHA England & Wales, Trevelyan House, Dimple Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3YH. Tel: 01629 592705 Mobile: 0784 3344646 Web: www.yha.org.uk

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Field Studies Council Kids Fund

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FSC Kids Fund provides financial support for groups of disadvantaged young people who would like to visit one of our centres for an FSC experience.

FSC Kids Fund aims to:

  • bring environmental understanding to disadvantaged young people by providing financial support for them to attend a course at an FSC learning  location.
  • help disadvantaged young people to attend an FSC course who may otherwise  be excluded due to some form of disadvantage – health, mobility, deprivation or financial.

Find out more about how to apply for Kids Fund

Read Kids Fund stories

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YHA School Trips – Brilliant Residentials

More information available from:

Michael Sabin, Group Sales Manager, YHA England & Wales, Trevelyan House, Dimple Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3YH. Tel: 01629 592705 Mobile: 0784 3344646 Web: www.yha.org.uk

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