Now that we finally have some sunshine (as long as it lasts!) your thoughts may be turning to getting your children outside.
If you are stuck for ideas we have some new courses that may be of interest to you.
Tuesday 20 May 2014 – Red Barn Primary School, Portchester – (OUTD0018-14AA)
Friday 20 June 2014 – Venue to be arranged – (OUTD0018-14AB)
The Outdoor Learning Cards activities contribute directly to a wide range of educational and development aims for children and young people and cover four elements of Outdoor Learning that can be delivered on a school site and surrounding environment:
Orienteering - use the site for fun and physical activities, whilst developing good map reading skills
Team Building and Problem Solving - present exciting challenges for individuals and teams
Bouldering - use of low level climbing walls and holds for physical and mental challenges
Journeying - develop skills to undertake ventures around the site and begin to organise local visits
Each participant will receive a set of activity cards with clear written instructions and diagrams. The Cards are supported by a Handbook and CD that provide detailed information on all aspects of activity delivery. All key elements for successful delivery are explored further in this intensive training course.
Monday 16 June 2014 – Nightingale Primary School, Eastleigh – OUTB0003-13AB
Bring the Maths curriculum alive by learning in the outdoors! A unique training session full of practical ideas, within your school grounds, to support and enhance your classroom learning.
You will undertake a number of Maths activities during a very practical session which will clearly illustrate the effectiveness of taking Maths lessons outdoors.
As well as the many ideas you can take back to school from the afternoon activity, you will also be given a pack of ideas to take away in the new Maths Outdoors booklet from the Trailblazer team.
We love hearing about all the Trailblazing going on in our schools and it's always nice when a school is kind enough to share some of their Trailblazer News.
St. Albans Primary School in Havant are a fantastic example of a school that uses Trailblazer daily to enhance school life and get children outdoors. They even produce a termly Trailblazer newsletter to share their achievements.
Year R take part in Welly Wednesdays when they go outside to learn whatever the weather. Here's a quote from Aidan:
"I really like building outside with sticks. i feel happy when we are running around the field looking for things..."
In connection with their work on birds, Year One have been visited by Jan Atkinson from the Langstone Harbour Little Tern project. They have also found a 'Blackbird's Lunch' - a very popular activity from our Trailblazer Coordinator Training Day!
Other activities throughout the school have included; forming a Green team to deal with recycling, gardening and a thoroughly enjoyable trip to Stubbington. The school even have pupil ambassadors for Trailblazer and Recycling.
If you are a Trailblazer Coordinator you can read more about St Alban's on our School Focus page.
To find out more about becoming a Trailblazer School please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Come along to the Outdoor Education, PE and DofE Service Day on Friday 25th April 2014.
Join us for a day of practical workshops, which will inspire you to take advantage of the outdoor environment and give you new ideas for activities that you can do with your young people.
There will also be an introduction to the day from John Clarke, Deputy Director of Children's Services, plus a special guest - Dani King The Olympic cyclist and World Record Holder will also be there for the talk in the whole-group session in the morning.
With the new curriculum on the horizon many schools are taking the opportunity to integrate outdoor learning into everyday classroom life.
The new curriculum offers many opportunities for outdoor learning and our Trailblazer scheme is the perfect starting point for gaining and sharing outdoor ideas.
Many people find it easy to include outdoor learning in subjects like science but struggle to use the outdoors in less obvious subjects.
We can help you to make the most of your outdoor environment (whatever size) and this years Trailblazer Coordinator courses will help you get to grips with the new Curriculum.
Our Trailblazer schools have access to outdoor lesson ideas and we will be providing some fresh new ideas throughout the year. We also update our website regularly with information to inspire you.
Our next Trailblazer courses are:
Friday 10 October 2014 – Gilbert White’s House, Selborne
For further details please contact email@example.com
Our yearly Trailblazer Validation survey results always amaze us! The variety of activities that schools are carrying out and the innovative ways that Trailblazer has become a part of the curriculum make very interesting reading.
The Validation Survey is sent out to our Trailblazer schools after the Easter holidays and is our way of finding out how Trailblazer is progressing.
Some of the most interesting activities we have heard about include:
Weekend Family Groundforce
Growing a natural wigwam
Japanese Zen Gardens
Milk Bottle Birds
Pirates of the Caribeean Number Hunt
Trailblazer is a big part of school life for many children and provides lasting memories. Here are some highlights from our schools.
Setting up a ‘Knight School’ where children trained their parents to be knights. All parents came along and did jousting, dragon fighting, archery and agility trails.
Working in family groups on Trailblazer mornings – giving year groups the chance to work together
Afternoon tea made with school-grown produce
Year 2 spelling tests outside involving natural objects
Seeing the newts at the bug hotel eating bugs
Twig epitaphs and twig skeletons*
The benefits of Trailblazer are varied and not just academic:
Less academic children being able to shine, giving a big boost in self-esteem.
Less disruption during lesson time because they have been outside.
Newer teachers becoming involved and confident.
Seeing the children become more independent and confident.
Seeing children build resilience by taking risks and challenging themselves when unsure.
Our schools find Trailblazer a positive addition to the curriculum:
At the beginning of the year my class were extremely difficult, they could not work as a team and lacked compassion towards other class members who were not their friends. After PSHE lessons outside working together they became the most supportive and helpful group of children. They encourage each other and this has transferred into their behaviour in the classroom.
Ofsted liked our multi-sensory approach
Children always more excited on the day their Trailblazer task is set and they know the quicker they get other work completed the more time they will have outside.
If you are a Trailblazer school and would like to view a full report of the Validation survey please click here.
If you are interested in becoming a Trailblazer school please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
* You can find wonderful seasonal ideas for outside activities on the Woodland Trust website.
Further news and information for Trailblazer schools can be found on our Coordinators' page. If you are not a Trailblazer school and would like further information please contact email@example.com