The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Outdoor learning

Gareth D Morewood

Let's all go to the zoo!

School visits can be great ways to integrate aspects of the curriculum and give all students something to talk about. This week, we took our Year 8s deep into the animal kingdom. This week we took our Year 8 on their annual educational visit to Chester Zoo. In line with our usual philosophy , all...
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Anita Foster

Help pupils make memories, not take photos!

We snap, share and store our memories all the time - but if we truly want to help children learn, we need to consider swapping tablets for trees. Many years ago, I was lucky enough to whale watch in New Zealand. Sperm whales just off the coast of the South Island. I have many photos, including...
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Anita Foster

Effective teaching in the great outdoors

Outdoor learning can be a great way to enrich a school's curriculum and engage pupils in new opportunities beyond the typical forest school afternoon. When I tell people what I do, I often get a response along the lines of ‘Oh, forest schools?’ While I appreciate much of what forest schools can do...
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Chris Wright

Increasing physical activity and raising standards: the magic formula

Inactivity is becoming the biggest threat to young people’s long-term health (1). Chris Wright, head of health at the Youth Sport Trust, looks at how a focus on physical activity in your school can give it a competitive advantage in raising both health and educational standards. The issue of...
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Alex Masters

The state of play: how Lego can lead to deeper learning

‘Play is the beginning of knowledge,’ so a wise man once said. Indeed, recent studies have found clear links between play and deeper learning...so much so that there have been calls for Ofsted to stress the importance of play in its inspection framework. There are many compelling cases for the link...
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Sarah Gaffney

Don't have any water buffalos? Get outside and get inspired anyway!

As we ease into the coming winter months the weather is due to get colder and many of us (myself included!) will be drawn to staying indoors and keeping warm and dry. But we shouldn't dismiss the many unique experiences which can be gained from exploring the outdoor environment, particularly for...
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