Nature deficit disorder? Not on my watch!

There has been much written in the press about ‘nature deficit disorder’ and the benefits of children learning in a variety of environments is plain to see; last week Year 6 pupils visibly flourished as they performed outstandingly in their class assembly and I put this down to a particularly congenial environment. This week, my Year 5 maths class have been doing some mathematical investigations, based on perimeter and converting measurements, again in the Dell.

It was a bit on the chilly side, birds could be heard singing, the occasional noise from a passing car on Port Hill, autumn leaves fell intermittently and there were plenty of twigs on the ground to be turned into race cars or whatever a child’s imagination could do.  It sounds like a long list of distractions and reasons not to teach a maths lesson outside… quite the opposite. I do feel that this variety of stimuli is beneficial to the children; their brains are working overtime to take everything in and yet, they still showed how well they could focus and all made excellent progress in the lesson. They were engaged, asking and answering a lot of questions and had fun as they did it. We also learnt that it is roughly 51200000mm from here to London!

I particularly enjoyed teaching this lesson and I could see that the children had a great time too; some didn’t realise just how much they learnt!

My next challenge will be to teach outside when the weather isn’t quite so nice.

Mr Tom Le Tissier

Director of Learning

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