Learning within the community
This year the children have been learning about their local communities and exploring a range of environments. They have visited their local library, community shops, cafes as well as parks and environmental walks in the area around the school.
They have travelled further afield to explore the Sea life centre, Ash End farm, Birmingham airport and a variety of towns and cities in the West Midlands area and we have even had a visit from the local constabulary.
It is important to us that your child is given the opportunity to make observations about their environments, the people and creatures that inhabit it. We provide rich, stimulating and fascinating experiences to enable them to show curiosity about where they live and give them an insight into what a wonderful world they live in.
Through these learning experiences your child will learn to question, explore and take calculated risks providing them with the skills and desires to begin their own adventures.
Our next step will be to continue to provide rich learning environments and using various methods of communication systems (e.g. photos, video, selection or discussion) to capture the child’s voice about where and what type of experience they would like to participate in the future and what learning occurred from previous activities.
Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) is the use of places other than the classroom for teaching and learning. It is about getting children and young people out and about, providing them with challenging, exciting and different experiences to help them learn. (Council for Learning Outside the Classroom) Opportunities for learning outside the classroom can happen at almost any time throughout the day and almost anywhere – outdoors or indoors: within other areas of the school building, the school grounds, the local community or further afield. Learning Outside the Classroom allows opportunities to
* Develop a sense of adventure, by exploring new places and new environments
* Have an appreciation of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through physical activity
* Provide an opportunity to reflect on experiences and learning.
* Be confident in making own decisions LOtC helps children to become risk assessors. We see the children learning what they are able to do for themselves. This is a vital part of our work; for children one of the greatest risks in life is not understanding what risk is. At Castle Wood school our children have access to a wide range of LOtC opportunities as part of the curriculum including visits within the local community and horse riding. On site each class has access to their own outdoor area and the forest school. Within the school there are a variety of spaces for the children to develop through LOtC experiences such as the Creation Station, the Learning Hub, our sensory room, soft play room and our hydrotherapy pool. What our staff say about LOtC: “LOtC promotes and allows access to the physical curriculum…it’s important for our children to be visible in the community to promote equality and diversity…inclusive playground equipment increases their social opportunities with other children in school” “LOtC meets our children’s sensory needs and reduces levels of challenging behaviour in the classroom! LOtC is important as it enables children to develop a range of key skills. It allows for curiosity in the natural environment and provides them with different learning challenges and experiences.” “Learning can be increased when given the opportunity to widen their environment in different places outside the classroom. It opens up a new level of learning incorporating cross curricular opportunities, widening their horizons and communication opportunities. It gives the excitement for learning” “LOtC meets our children’s sensory needs and reduces levels of challenging behaviour in the classroom