The Benefits of Using a Curriculum Within the Outdoor Environment

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The Benefits of Using a Curriculum within the Outdoor Environment If education is a voyage of discovery, why not explore the opportunities to take learning outside? Chiara Pannozzo The Early Years are a time of unrivalled personal discovery, in which each day holds the potential for adventure for a child – and nowhere offers greater potential for adventure than the great outdoors. 'The benefits of outdoor play are really very basic,' says Harry Harbottle, a consultant in play and risk management, who was formerly appointed by the EU as a child safety expert to the European Standards Organisation. 'If children aren't allowed to engage with the elements – mud, water, air, even fire – how can they begin to understand the world that they live in?' Harry argues that there is a need to move away from a culture of reluctance to let children explore outdoors. 'We are at last realising the consequences of children spending most of their time indoors,' says Harry. 'There are too many children who have been adversely affected by a lack of exercise and stimulation.' The outdoor environment is a rich, dynamic and natural space to enhance the school curriculum and stimulates quality learning and development in children of all ages. Its value as an essential learning resource has been recognized by many pieces of research and more recently with the ‘Eraly Uears Foundation Stage (EYFS), particularly within the principle of ‘ Enabling Environments’. Outdoor activities, whether they be core National Curriculum core subject or foundation based, can always be adapted, if necessary, for children with additional learning needs/physical disabilities by the teacher doing a reckie of the area outside which is to be used and then assessing how circumstances can be adapted for pupils with such difficulties. Also, a buddy can be placed with a child who has additional needs and assistance given when necessary. It is imperative that restrictions are only placed for health and safety reasons;...
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