Literacy learning outside the classroom

The English block in Primary Schools is the longest stretch of the day; vital to children’s language development, oral language skills, writing progression and creativity. So it needs to keep children interested in the topic. Teaching sections of English outdoors increases children’s engagement and promotes active participation in story play. Research has shown that when children participate in story play the length, imagination and vocabulary in writing all increases.

Back in 2014, I taught a vibrant Year 1 class and completed my outdoor learning doctoral research with them. We went outside each week to complete curriculum lessons, often it was the English block that was moved outside due to the huge scope for learning. The children would; read quality picture books with nature based themes, collect items on discovery walks and make story sticks to stimulate memories for writing, video themselves on the iPads in story play to be used later during formal classroom tasks, make story settings for imagined characters and enjoy their learning. The playful learning in the outdoor lessons transferred to more formal indoor tasks. The children took risks as they learnt outside experimenting with new words in their speaking and also often asked for paper to practice writing their newly discovered vocabulary.

Teachers do you want to incorporate the outdoors into your English block? Outdoor Connections has NESA Registered PD for you. We can come to your staff meeting at your school, with a mixture of pedagogical theory and plenty of practical tips this is a worthwhile session for Primary School teachers who want to engage and increase their classes English outcome attainment while they are actively learning in the outdoors.

Get in touch with Dr Amanda Lloyd at for more information.


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