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Covid: More teachers turn to outdoor classes - BBC Wales report

Published on 16 December 2020

Covid: More teachers turn to outdoor classes - BBC Wales report

The rise follows a warning by the Institute for Outdoor Learning that a lack of school trips during the pandemic has cost the outdoor education sector £500m and caused the loss of 6,000 jobs.

The rise follows a warning by the Institute for Outdoor Learning that a lack of school trips during the pandemic has cost the outdoor education sector £500m and caused the loss of 6,000 jobs.

Rebecca Shone, a Year 2 teacher at Sychdyn Primary School, in Sychdyn, near Mold, Flintshire, said the outdoor learning is significantly helping her adjust to a new way of teaching.

"School life has changed dramatically and classroom teaching can be quite stressful with masks and social distancing," she said. "Delivering lessons in the open air is far easier and more enjoyable and offers a nicer environment to engage the children.

"I try to take the class outdoors as much as possible, whatever the weather. We learn a whole range of subjects, from maths and science to language and art.

Ffion Hughes, NRW education, learning and skills advisor, said outdoor settings could provide "endless" learning opportunities, from counting trees for maths skills, creating "woodland symphonies" with leaves and sticks for music, as well as teaching drama outdoors. She added: "It's much more relaxing for both the teachers and children.

"There's plenty of space to socially-distance and room for children to have real-life memorable experiences without being stuck in a classroom, and masks, and feeling under pressure.

"For some, they have been outdoor learning for a long time, but Covid has given a new push and a new emphasis, and there's new motivation and enthusiasm for learning outdoors. So we really hope, as things settle down, this will continue and those that have been inspired will continue on their learning journey and continue to spend more time outdoors. Training-wise, our numbers have gone through the roof."

Read more... and see the excellent BBC video (well worth sharing)

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