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Learning Outside the Classroom

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Ryan Lynch

on 2 December 2013

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Transcript of Learning Outside the Classroom

Learning Outside the Classroom
2) Devise a Trail to explore local area (Ballygawley)
Academic Rationale
Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
(2006) defines learning outside the classroom as providing
meaningful learning experiences
enrich children’s learning
across the key stages and subject areas.
Four Zones
Outdoor Learning
Benefits of exploring local area
Ryan Lynch
BEd 4

1) An Academic Rationale
3) Academic Preparation
Risk Assessment
Learning outside the classroom:
Helps bring curricula alive
Helps students understand our environment
Encourages physical activity
Children can learn to evaluate and manage risk
Barriers to schools providing outdoor learning opportunities
The assumption that children's formal outdoor experiences should occur some distance away from school
Financial Costs
Perception that children are more likely to be physically harmed
Health and Safety
1) The School Grounds
2) Local Neighbourhood
3) Day
4) Overnight stays,
Residential and Expeditions
History (
Geography (
Learning outside the classroom offers teachers guidelines that can be adopted to suit their own specific requirements as well as those of their students, parents, school and community
Learn about the history of the place they live in
Learn how their culture, land they live on and other living organism have been uniquely shaped
According to the NIC (2007) "children are more likely to learn when active"
Learning through experience
The story of the land is brought alive by directly interacting with it
Can maximise a childs learning across curriculum
Children will begin to make connections with people within community
No travel expenses
Develop sense of identity
What do you know about Ballygawley?
What would you like to know?
Where is Ballygawley on the map?
Ballygalwey is a small town situated in the County Tyrone and to be more accurate, within the Clogher Valley.
It is famously known for it's roundabout which has roads leading to Belfast, Derry, Enniskillen and Dublin
Welcome to Ballygawley
It was designed by engineer Michael Pollard and has since remained the most famous roundabout in the country
The original work began on this roundabout in 1959
It was open for transport three years later in 1962

People also travelled far and wide to go to street fares and markets where just about anything could be sold
During the 1900s Ballygawley was the thriving centre of the linen trade.
Lessons Prior to exploring local area
Ballygawley House
This castle just outside Ballygawley was built in 1820
Owned by Landlord Sir John Stewart.
It was destroyed by fire in 1922.
It is believed that there is a tunnel running from here into the town of Ballygawley (approx 2 miles) Children will get chance to explore this!
Sir John Stweart was landlord of all 27,906 acres of land in Ballygawley from 1811.
He was actively involved in the industrial and commercial life of Ballygawley and kickstarted the Linen Trade, Fares and street markets which the town became famous for.
What it looked
like then
What it looks
like now
Discuss in pairs the change of the building over time!
The landscape and surroundings within your local area can add considerable value to classroom learning as it gives children a chance to learn from their experiences. Experiences outside of the typical classroom environment provide a context for learning. Skills such as thinking and problem solving, co-operation, communication and interpersonal are promoted and developed further.
A report released by Ofsted (2008) further reinforced the points raised within the government’s manifesto of learning outside the classroom. Research conducted in 12 Primary Schools found that the impact of these outside experiences considerably improved outcomes for children as well as increasing self motivation within children’s learning across the whole curriculum. However, Ofsted did state that half of the Schools were in fact unaware of the manifesto. Professionals were also unsure how it linked with both core and non core subjects in the National Curriculum.
St Ciaran's College Ballygawley
When St Ciaran's High School was opened by Cardinal Conway in 1966 with eighteen teaching staff, it brought to fruition the vision of Rev. Fr Caraher, Parish Priest of Errigal Ciaran, for a school which would cater for the educational needs of young boys and girls in the Clogher Valley.
Since then is has grown from a population of three hundred and fifty pupils to its present population of over eight hundred students which is a vindication of that vision.
The geographical location of St. Ciaran's School left it very prone to flooding. The River Blackwater runs along the side and front of the school and as a result the school grounds were flooded on numerous occasions.
O’Neill visits £1.5million Ballygawley flood alleviation scheme
Explore using the internet the changes that have taken place within the school over the last 50 years.
Find out if there have been any measures put in place to reduce the risk of flooding.
Transport to the school (how has it changed over the years)

The child will be enabled to:

Explore continuity and change in Ballygawley since early settlement.
Actively explore features of the local environment
Investigate various aspects of these sites; appearance now and originally; elements which have changed and remained the same; what it was like for people to live, learn, work, worship and die there.
Work as a Historian to become empathetic to and familiar with aspects of the lives of people during the Early Christian period; homes; foods; clothes; work, etc.
Story: The children will listen to Local man Frank Mc Aleer talk about his lifetime in Ballygawley and will then retell the story. Frank will talk about the markets and fairs and how Ballygawley has changed.

Teacher-in-Role: Teacher will act as Landlord Sir John Stweart and invite the children to interview him to learn about life at the time.


The child will be enabled to:

Explore, investigate and come to appreciate the major features of the built environment in Ballygawley.
Conduct a survey of the built environment of Ballygawley.
Become aware of forms of transport in Ballygawley currently and formerly.
Investigate the continuity and change within the transport systems in Ballygawley.
Talk and Discussion
: The children will discuss the built environment of the town before, during and after the field trip.
: The children will estimate the different types of homes in Ballygawley.
: The children will investigate and record features of the buildings of Ballygawley, ascertaining any patterns or unique aspects.
Paired Work
: The children will work in pairs to map the route from St Ciarans College to the town centre and also conduct an environmental audit of the built environment which will increase their sense of place and awareness of the physical surroundings of Ballygawley. Each child will have an assigned role within the pair to ensure participation.

Discussion to obtain prior knowledge of the history of Ballygawley
Presentation of some historical facts about Ballygawley using text and pictorial presentation. .
Interview of Frank Mc Aleer (local man) about his life in Ballygawley
Diary entry’ – Children will write about a day in the life of a market stall owner in Ballygawley.
History Quiz – Children will work in groups to answer questions
Teacher observation of the discussions following both the telling of the story.
Teacher observation of paired activities during the fieldtrip.
Assessment of the interview with Frank Mc Aleer, evaluating the questions asked and results of research findings will provide an insight into the development of historical skills.
Teacher observation of the History Quiz; children working together and the results of the quiz to ascertain the children’s understanding of the content covered in class.
Discussion to obtain prior knowledge of mapping and introductory exercise to map the classroom and record details about the built environment within the room.
Discussion about the built environment of Ballygawley to ascertain level of awareness of the human built surrounding for example - Do they know the location of both the old and new Bank?
Presentation of example of environmental audit survey skills in class.
Fieldtrip to Ballygawley town to undertake two activities: mapping the route from St. Ciarans College (via the roundabout) to the town and conducting a survey of the buildings on Church Street..
Presentation of historical and contemporary maps and ask the children to identify any aspects of continuity and change and then compare their mapping work to these images.
Additional Activities
Explore and investigate the built environment of a contrasting part of Ireland
Teacher-designed introduction exercise will provide an indication of any difficulties some children may have with the fieldwork task. This will allow the opportunity to reinforce the allocation of differentiated elements for the lesson; for example some children may be given map template sheets to assist them while others given blank sheets to map the whole route.
Ensuring that each child has a clearly assigned role in the paired work will ensure that each child has the opportunity to contribute to the activity and allows Teacher observations into a variety of assessment areas including - participation; reactions; problem-solving; engagement and understanding.
Observing the paired activities and asking open-ended questions which will provide an insight into the conceptual learning and understanding of geographic skills; questioning, investigating, analysing, recording and communicating.
Analysis of the maps created during fieldtrip will indicate the development of the children’s sense of place.
References and Readings
Risk Assessment
Road Traffic
students wear high visibilty vests
only cross road at 'green man' road crossings
walk in two's and be mindful of other pedestrians
Exposure to elements
wear appropriate clothing and footwear for conditions. spare items of clothing should be brought
check the weather forecast and plan appropriately
Health and Safety
First Aid Kit
Necessary Medication
Consent forms
emergency action plan
Notify school office exactly where you are going and what time you plan to return
Ensure that the children go to toilet before leaving school
Pre-trip - identify in class rules and guidelines regarding safety on the trip.
Leadership:Sufficient Staff to student ratio
Identify and plan around any potential hazards on path before you go out with pupils
ensure children explore with care at all times
Organise equipment needed
DfES (2006b) Learning outside the classroom manifesto London, UK: Department for Education and Skills
Rickinson, R. Dillon, J. Teamey, K. Morris, M. Choi, M,E. Sanders, D and Benefield, P (2004) The Value of Outdoor Learning: evidence from research in UK and elsewhere
CCEA (2007) The Northern Ireland Curriculum Primary. Belfast: CCEA
Beames, S. (2012) Learning outside the classroom: theory and guidelines for practice. New York, NY: Routledge
Beames, S. Higgins, P. and Nicol, R. (2012). Learning Outside the Classroom: Theory and Guidelines for Practice. Oxon, United Kingdom. Routledge.
Higgins, P., Nicol, R. & Ross, H. (2006) Teachers’ approaches and attitudes to engaging with the natural
heritage through the curriculum. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No 161. Perth: Scottish Natural Heritage
Orr (2004) "If we want people to live well in this world they need to be educated in this world"
Orr, D.W. (2004) Earth in Mind:On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect. First Island Press: USA
Higgins and Nicol (2002)
Ofsted. (2008) Learning outside the classroom: How far should you go?. London. HMSO. Retrieved from: http://www.tes.co.uk/ResourceDetail.aspx?storyCode=6027489
In a recent review of research on outdoor learning, Rickinson, Dillon, Teamey, Morris, Choi, Sanders and Benefield (2004) found that non-local residential experiences can be effective in fostering participants' personal and social development.
Although this was less so in the case of improving cognitive development the report states that the school grounds and the local area/community have the capacity to link with most curriculum areas.
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