Forest School is an initiative well known in the UK and is one form of outdoor learning, centred around ‘learning by doing’ to nurture students curiosity. This has been adopted across schools with innovative outdoor learning activities being designed for many different subjects, learning numeracy by tying strings around trees or learning about local wildlife. Transitioning to a more outdoor focus could potentially help the current disruption in three ways:
- Being outside will help teachers ensure there can be as much social distancing between the students as possible
- The classes will help keep the students engaged and happy during a time where they could be worried about the future
- With schools having to rely on a much-reduced workforce, potentially merging classes, this could be a way to reduce the strain put on the staff
By taking lessons outside, this provides the opportunity to speak to the whole group at once. For example, direct teaching can be done outside with students moving off to work individually, either outside or back in the classroom.
This could also be flipped with the direct teaching inside and the students moving outside to work independently.