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The Rissington School
Aspire - Belong - Challenge

01451 820857

Learning outside the classroom




At The Rissington School we value the importance of children having opportunities to learn in environments other than the classroom. Our aim is that by taking children outside their usual setting, we can provide them with hands on, real life experiences which enhance their learning across a broad range of subjects. By utilising the school grounds, local environment and educational visits further afield, we can provide a depth and relevance to learning that is not possible to achieve within the classroom. We believe that by embracing learning outside the classroom, we can:

  • - Inspire awe and wonder and promote engagement with learning.
  • - Contextualise learning and provide opportunities for a deeper understanding of concepts.
  • - Provide opportunities for the development of subject specific skills.
  • - Build children’s self-esteem and promote their personal, social and emotional development.
  • - Allow opportunities for exploration, investigation and problem solving.
  • - Promote collaborative working and interpersonal skills.
  • - Enable children to gain a respect for the natural environment and wildlife.

For these reasons, we feel that it is important that learning outside the classroom is embedded as a regular feature within teaching and learning at The Rissington School.



Teachers at the Rissington school will provide opportunities for children to experience a broad range of educational visits within their time at primary school. Educational visits will be used to enhance and support their teaching of some topics. Where visits are less relevant to a topic, opportunities to enhance learning within school, through visitors or other experiences, are sought.

All teachers are expected to plan outdoor sessions on a weekly basis, to support what is being learnt in the classroom and/or cover parts of the curriculum for their year group.  This will include at least one maths or literacy session every week. Teachers will also select one foundation subject progression from the National Curriculum Outdoor schemes to deliver each term. Opportunities for outdoor learning will be clearly identified on medium term planning.

In the Early Years, children will have access their outdoor environments on a daily basis for both child and adult led learning experiences. These environments will be adapted to meet the needs of the children and will provide opportunities for independent learning and challenge. Children in Reception will also have weekly access to Forest Learning, in which they will explore the outdoor space freely, develop their understanding of the natural world and learn to manage risks.

In KS1, children will continue to have opportunities to explore the outdoor environment in the context of science and geography learning. They will also have regular outdoor learning experiences in all subjects which are active and engaging.

In KS2 children will use the outdoor environment to support investigation, exploration and problem solving in a range of subjects. They will also have regular opportunities to be active whilst learning and the outdoor space will be used to provide a real life context for some subjects.

Opportunities will be taken to support children with additional needs within the outdoor environment. Class teachers will identify those children within their class with behavioural needs or SEND who would benefit from extra responsibilities and time being active outdoors. These children will become Outdoor Champions, representing their class in planning and enacting improvements to the outdoor spaces at their site.

Opportunities for small group and interventions to be carried out outdoors will be sought by individual class teachers, based on the needs of the individuals within their class.

Guidance will be given to staff who are less confident in implementing outdoor learning, including signposting to resources and planning materials. All teachers will have access to a ‘National Curriculum Outdoors’ textbook for their year group, which provides detailed ideas and lesson plans for high quality outdoor learning in every subject area. Ideas and experiences will be regularly shared and discussed at staff meetings and training will be accessed where appropriate.