At the core of the curriculum in England is the statement that every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
- promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
- prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
The contribution of learning outside the classroom in the above areas is widely acknowledged. Taking learning outside the classroom enables pupils to apply what they have learnt inside the classroom in a real world context and equips them with skills (communication skills, team working, problem solving and risk management to name just a few) they will need for real life and employment. The benefits in terms of physical and mental health, expanding the horizons of young people, and changing their environmental behaviours and attitudes are also well evidenced.
At Easterside Academy we feel that learning outside the classroom can add value to teaching and learning across all areas of the curriculum and therefore it is mapped into our curriculum on a regular basis.
The school is committed to LOtC through the on-going development of its own outdoor environment and its employment of a part time ‘Outdoor Learning Assistant’ role. At Easterside we have on site:
- Large extensive fields.
- Two playgrounds.
- A ball court.
- An allotment.
- An orchard.
- A pond.
- A stage area and seating.
- Outdoor seating and shade.
- A ‘wild’ wooded area with an open fire pit area in the centre.
- Mini-beast and weather stations.
We are also lucky in that we have excellent spaces available to us within walking distance of the school that we visit regularly throughout the year.
- Stewarts Park.
- Fairy Dell.
- West Beck.
We also plan and take children on visits much further afield as part of their learning. Some of these take place at the beginning of our ‘topics’ during the ‘engage’ stage in order stimulate curiosity and excitement about the learning. Places we have visited include:
- Anlwick Castle
- York Chocolate Factory
- The North Yorkshire Moors Centre
- Carlton Outdoor Education Centre
- Daisy Chain Farm
Sometimes in order to actively take part in our outdoor curriculum, children will bring home a letter asking for ‘old clothes’ to be brought to school for specific activities e.g. Working on the allotment. Other times they may just go outside as part of the teaching and learning.
Please ensure that your child comes to school suitably dressed for the weather so that they are able to participate comfortably outdoors in the curriculum at Easterside Academy.
Letters will be sent home with your child for specific visits which will require consent from the person with parental responsibility.