What follows is an extract from a recent Ofsted good practice case study that shows how Netherfield primary school makes highly effective use of resources and space to provide children with outstanding learning experiences.  Ofsted says that a range of teaching approaches, both formal and informal, sit side by side in a highly planned curriculum where both the indoor and outdoor environment are used creatively.

Netherfield took a research-based approach when setting up its environments, and a large staff team works together to seek ever better ways of ensuring that children get off to a good start. The headteacher is clear that …

“The environment is the best teaching tool we have.

The Ofsted report contains this comment:

“Despite being located in an urban setting, with limited space and only a small playing field, Netherfield Primary School makes the absolute most of its outdoor resources.  The early years leader describes the outdoor environment as ‘mirroring the indoor environment as much as possible so that children have access to all of the same kinds of activities and learning opportunities outside as they would inside’.  This strategy responds to the school acknowledging that some children prefer to learn outside and would miss out if the areas were dissimilar.  However, the early years leader also believes that, ‘the outdoor activities have to be challenging and open- ended to encourage and promote problem solving, creativity and critical thinking.’  The children’s interests are also reflected in the outdoor area.”

To read the rest of the report click here.

1 Comment

  1. Education should get away from the data driven pedagogy back to child driven. Outdoor Learning can be a massive conduit in this happening. As humans we have learnt outside and developed for thousands of years it’s only in the last 100 years we have put education in a box called the classroom. Scientific evidence has proven that being outside is better than inside so why are we not?
    Even the leading nations in education league tables are now turning towards the ‘outdoors’ as that missing link in education which makes a better outcome. ‘Curriculum for life’ not just for now and the next box to be ticked. A whole person with values to take forward which are meaningful for all is what the earth needs.

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