Our Outdoor Education Curriculum.
An essential part of our curriculum is that every child should experience the world beyond the classroom. Our vision is to use the outside classroom at every opportunity, in all spheres of learning, hence widening our children’s experiences.
Research suggests that outdoor learning boosts confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, physical skills, knowledge and understanding. It has also been found to boost children’s self-esteem, self-confidence, ability to work cooperatively and positive attitude to learning.
Here at St John Vianney’s, we have evidenced this for ourselves, when we increased the access of all our Year 2 to Year 6 children to a structured programme of outdoor education, which runs from February to July each year.
We are now in our fourth year.
Whilst all our Year 5 children access an outdoor residential at Hothersall Lodge each year, we had seen how many children would opt out of certain activities, mainly climbing and the zip-wire, due to this being their first ever experience of such an activity. Consequently, we decided to utilise some of the PE premium funding to plan in a programme of similar events to be timetabled each Friday with years 2 to 6 on a rotation. It was hoped that this yearly access to these more challenging outdoor activities would build up our children’s confidence to accessing the activities on the residential. And it most certainly has.
Ofsted also recommends that schools evaluate the quality of learning outside the classroom to ensure that it has maximum impact on learners’ achievement, personal development and well-being .
We are now confident that we have done just that and now ensure our children access a range of quality provision throughout their time at St John Vianney, rather than just within one year.