This resource is part of a study looking at what outdoor learning can mean in its widest form, taking the school as the hub from which learning radiates out into the school grounds, the immediate surroundings, the wider town and community, and even the wider world. If we start mapping these into learning environments, the classroom is no longer the only, or always the best place for learning.
The senior management team at Speyside High School strongly supports the promotion of outdoor learning and the delivery of the curriculum outside of the classroom. This has been developed with the support of a teacher tasked with further developing outdoor learning and leadership. The school was already doing considerable outdoor adventure activities – mountain biking, kayaking, orienteering – all of which could be done locally, or at a nearby outdoor centre. However, more has been done to develop other curricular opportunities. A number of trees were felled in order to build an extension for the school, but before they were cut pupils from an art class began a project to study trees. The trees themselves were recorded in drawings and paintings, pupils were asked to consider the age of trees, what they would have seen in their life span and the stories they might have told. Faces were created from clay and attached to the trees. Now the trees have been cut, timber has been saved and a chainsaw artist will work with the school to create sculptures and seating for social spaces.