Learning Outside the Classroom
'The best classroom and the richest learning environment are roofed only by the sky...' - Margaret McMillan
School Year 2019-2020
Learning Outside the Classroom is carefully planned, sequenced and implemented from Year 3 to 6. It is an integral element of long-term curriculum planning and closely linked to classroom activities. Through this we aim to enrich and improve our pupil’s personal, social, emotional and character development such that they:
- relish challenging and unfamiliar tasks and environments
- embrace learning from their mistakes and recognise this as the key aspect for improvement
- develop resilience, independence and self confidence
- learn about themselves and conquer their fears
- learn to work effectively as part of a team and independently
At St. Francis de Sales, opportunities for learning beyond the classroom are interwoven throughout our curriculum. Teachers actively seek opportunities to teach outside of the classroom as we recognise the benefits of learning in a wide range of environments ensuring we present pupils with the best possible opportunities to grow. We present pupils with the opportunity to learn in a more diverse manner and environment in a variety of ways including:
- Specific Learning Outside the Classroom focus weeks which take place once every half term which involves each year group ensuring at least one lesson within their timetable is taught outside of the classroom giving more context to learning;
- Individual pupil 'Activity Passports' which challenge pupils to complete 12 challenges each year they are in our school based on activities which can be learnt outside of the classroom environment;
- Trips and specialist in-house workshops to enrich classroom learning;
- Residentials which enable pupils to learn and explore in a variety of new environments and put learning into context and develop independence and resilience;
- Unstructured play ('Play Pod') during lunch times provides and environment to develop creativity, confidence, resilience and social skills.
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At St. Francis de Sales, we assess the impact of our intent and implementation in order to help us refine and adapt our planning and as a result improve the quality of teaching and learning.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Pupil voice is taken each term in order to gauge the enjoyment pupils have when learning beyond the classroom as well as evaluating the impact it has on pupil understanding across curriculum areas;
- Teacher voice is obtained annually through staff questionnaires, alongside informal meetings and discussions which take place throughout the year;
- Work reviews take place on a termly basis in order to evaluate the teaching taking place outside of the classroom environment and ensure their is cohesion across each year group;
- Annual impact reviews are completed by the subject lead in order to evaluate the quality of teaching and learning which takes place beyond the classroom across the curriculum in order to help adapt and refine planning which, in turn, improves the quality of teaching and learning.
This presentation shows the key aspects of our "Golden Threads" and how pupils leave Year 6 ready to challenge themselves and overcome the challenges they may face.