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School Focus - Outdoor Learning

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

Maria Montessori

Outdoor Learning at Dore Primary School


The value of outdoor learning is well recognised at Dore Primary School and is seen as one of the key drivers in the delivery of our exceptional curriculum. Research evidence is overwhelmingly clear about the positive links made between outdoor learning and the progress of children in all aspects of learning and the development of core values.


Learning outside the classroom is highly motivating. Learning in the school grounds, the locality, visiting sites further afield and residential experiences all stimulate interest, curiosity and passion for ‘doing’. These activities broaden young people’s horizons, enable them to develop new skills and build relationships. They make young people more engaged with learning and therefore more likely to do well. At Dore we have specific Forest Skills clubs as well as staff trained to deliver specific activities and opportunities from the Outdoor Education Advisors Panel. We are also supported with our delivery by being a full member of the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) organisation.


Out teachers plan outdoor learning opportunities across the curriculum and utilise our extensive grounds and facilities in order to maximise the impact of these experiences. Our learning continues far past our gates and fences with regular trips offsite beginning in foundation with walks into the local community. Experiences continue throughout the school and further afield across all year groups which both compliment and add great value to the excellent teaching and learning in our classrooms.


Learning outside the classroom was most successful when it was an integral element of long-term curriculum planning and closely linked to classroom activities. Ofsted

Core Values and Outdoor Learning


Outdoor learning at Dore Primary School allows us the opportunity to develop our Core Values of Resilience, Kindness, Resourcefulness and Creativity. So many of our activities, trips and residentials naturally lend themselves to social and personal growth as outlined below:


In 2015, Ofsted announced that the new common inspection framework would include a judgment on ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’. Learning outside the classroom can offer significant support to schools’ delivery of this area of the framework.

Attitudes and values

Talking about an object in a museum, or visiting a place of worship can give insight into issues, other cultures or periods of history.

Creating your own work of art can give rise to explorations and understandings about the world and our place in it.

A visit to a farm can stimulate debate about animal husbandry and food production, and provide a context for designing a Fairtrade enterprise.

Adventure education can provide opportunities to show different skills, such as leadership or teamwork.

Seeing a play on the stage can bring a text alive and stimulate conversations about the values and actions of the characters.

A residential can provide a different setting for conversations about what we believe and what we think is important.


When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development. Ofsted


Thanks to those children from year 4 and 5 who overcame arctic conditions in their efforts to plant more trees in Sheffield. Two groups made the expedition on Wednesday to Whirlow Playing Fields where we were met by the Sheffield Ranger Service and members of Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust. The children worked together to plant a variety of native trees that they and the community will be able to enjoy in years to come. There will be an opportunity for all the community to join in planting on Saturday 20th between 10 and 12.