Outdoor Learning : The Extended Classroom

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Historically, geographically, climatically and culturally, Scotland offers schools and their pupils one of the richest and most varied outdoor classrooms in the world. Our own back yard – whether that is rural, urban or suburban – is one of the greatest resources available in taking forward the aims, principles and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

This pamphlet looks 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. A short animation of the pamphlet is also available.

Taking this view is Dugald Forbes, an educationalist and retired headteacher of Kirkcudbright Academy;

“There is potential for learning in shops, factories, farms and other workplaces to enrich the learning experience of children as much as gardens, allotments, beaches, theatres, museums and libraries. By recognising this, we can enable deeper and more relevant knowledge and understanding, as well as forging more meaningful links between schools and communities.”

The pamphlet looks at opportunities and ways to plan for learning, and includes a number of case studies across Scotland where schools have embraced outdoor learning opportunities beyond the school wall. At the heart of it all, is of course participation. It is about engaging with young people to unlock opportunties for learning, and change – and about placing learners at the heart of decision making.

Case Studies :

Kirkcudbright Academy

Tain Royal Academy

Perth Academy

Hillpark Secondary School

Speyside High School

Liberton High School

Gairloch High School


Carbon Conscious Towns Case Studies

These Case Studies identify two towns in Scotland working on the ground to deliver on the 8 Principles of a Carbon Conscious Place: Dumfries and Leven

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