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Head’s blog

The Outdoors is a Classroom

Outdoor Classroom Day at Grimsdell took place today, and it was a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn outdoors with a focus on digital learning and oracy. Bringing technology outdoors and combining these two areas has proved very successful and allowed the children to be innovative and imaginative.

The activities were modelled in our Zoom assembly and it has been a joy seeing these activities recreated by the children who have all interpreted and built on the examples.

It began by sharing a video I had made of two ants who found a crisp outside when I was on holiday last year. The short clip shows the ants busily picking up and working together to carry the crisp back to the ant’s nest. I narrated the start of a story over the top of the clip, showing the children how they can use the outdoors, film and narrative to create something special. We now have a range of stories about a woodlouse, a worm and more ants!

Next we cut to one of our teachers who was lying on the grass outside staring at the clouds. She talked us through and showed us what she could see in the clouds and started telling a story about a Jaguar that she could see racing through the sky. Clouds are always an amazing source of inspiration and throughout the day we the children have begun building stories around what they see in the clouds.

Then we turned our attention to our Deputy Head who had found a beautiful purple tulip and she decided to ‘interview’ it. What a novel idea! She asked the flower questions about how it feels on sunny days, what it is like to be rained on, how it feels to be a flower in a storm and what it thinks of humans! The children were delighted that the flower answered back with a very ‘tinkly’ flower-like voice. A few interviews with natural objects proceeded to take place. Nursery even noticed the flower on their way to Forest School delightfully saying ‘that’s the flower that can talk!’.

Last but definitely not least one of teachers delivered the weather forecast in a very professional style. She had also made herself a moustache of twigs and leaves and we were told not to laugh – which proved rather difficult! The children have had great fun presenting and recording their own weather forecasts and combining presentational, oral skills with filming and outdoor scientific inspiration.

It was a fun filled and imagination-fuelled day which we hope brought to life how much the outdoors can spark creativity through technology, communication and Language.