9 Benefits of Outside Learning

With summer just around the corner, we know energy levels will be rising in the classroom along with the temperature outside! Children are desperate to be outside and taking a class out into the playground might be more beneficial to their education than you may first think.

Benefits to taking a class outside this summer!

Boosts creativity and imagination, meaning children can solve problems easier and are able to overcome challenges that they may have been struggling with.

Creates a deeper learning experience through play and experimentation. Children will be more engaged and involved with what they are learning and therefore, their retention will be better.

Reduces behaviour issues due to more stimulating environment and the fact that the lesson is a novelty.

Nurtures interest and understanding of the environment and how it works. Children can interact with their surroundings and see real life examples of how nature works.

Places children in a healthier environment by being outside in the fresh air. It tops up vitamin D levels (remember to stay protected from the sun!) and natural light is proven to boost people’s mood.

Provides tangible context to learning. If children are learning about plants, there is no better way to teach them than to go and find some real-life plants in their playground! It also enables a hands-on approach to be taken, letting children physically interact with their surroundings.

Builds relationships between peers as children work together and subsequently, builds confidence with their own abilities. It can improve social skills and help children to work collaboratively.

Decreases the stress levels of children by being in a less restrictive space and a healthier environment.

It’s fun! Learning can be done anywhere and sometimes giving children a more stimulating environment can make all the difference to their retention and understanding.

So why not take your class out this summer and see what benefits you see with your pupils!

World Migratory Bird Day

Today is World Migratory Bird Day!

5 facts we should probably know

  1. Did you know that 40% of all species of birds are migratory? In the United Kingdom about half of our bird species migrate especially those insect eaters, who can’t find enough food in the winter. Not surprisingly, in Scandinavia and Canada, almost all birds migrate south for warmer winters and conversely in the rain-forest very few birds migrate, choosing to stay where there is far more reliable weather and food supply

Examples of migratory birds in the UK are

The swallow https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/swallow/

The Brent Goose https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/brent-goose/

  1. Some of the migrant birds in the UK may come for the summer and some for the winter but other species are what’s known as partial migrants. That means that in some countries a species of bird might stay in the same place, whilst in other countries the same species might migrate to somewhere else for the winter. Starlings are partial migrants – the ones that breed in the UK, stay in the UK but those that breed in Eastern Europe migrate to the UK in winter. The same is true for chaffinches, robins, lapwings, coots and many other common birds#

 

  1. Some species are what’s known as altitudinal migrants. That means that these live in high terrain in summer but lowland in winter. Although the journey may not be long, it often involves quite a change in lifestyle. Altitudinal migrants in the UK include skylarks, meadow pipits and snow buntings. Find out more about the Snow Bunting here:

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/snow-bunting/

  1. One strange type of migrant bird is a group known as moult migrants. These migrate to a ‘safe’ territory to specifically allow them to shed their feathers. After their breeding season is over they fly to their designated place, shed their feathers including their flying feathers, then fly home when their feathers are grown back. Example of moult migrants are Shelducks who fly to the island of Heligoland to moult.

 

  1. There is one other type of migratory bird and these are known as passage migrants. These birds stop off in the UK during their long journey north or south and examples of such birds are green sandpipers and black terns. They use the UK like a service station for a few weeks.

If you think your pupils might be interested in celebrating our birds and specifically our migratory birds why not join in the activities on Migratory Bird Day 2018. You might want to start a School Garden log for children to note down t he birds they see.

Here are some websites with lots of ideas and resources to help you:

http://www.worldmigratorybirdday.org/

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/