In the EYFS, the whole team plan a variety of motivating activities to support all children’s development according to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The outdoor are is a fantastic resource to promote skills on a larger scale.
Many children prefer to be outdoors and often are more confident and willing to try different activities as they experience the freedom of learning outside of four walls. It is a great starting point in setting the foundations in to support other subjects such as P.E, Geography and History as they progress through the school. The team have zoned the outdoor area to ensure all opportunities support each of the 7 educational programmes of the new EYFS Framework. The outdoor area follows the same principles on teaching and learning and the assessment procedures as explained in both the Reception and Nursery pages on the EYFS Framework.
Similarly, to inside activities, when staff are working outside you will find them:
- Scaffolding and facilitating play
- Playing alongside children to model play, learning, vocabulary and other social skills
- Leading intervention (targeting individual next steps)
- Conducting assessments through observations to further the children’s development and plan in next step intervention
However, often their focus will change as their main priority outside is to target support for skills such as social behaviour, confidence, creativity, well-being, physical development (especially the larger movements) and language as there is often a wider span of opportunities outside to expand on and develop in comparison to inside play.
Outdoor planning is based on the following:
- Current topic links
- Children’s interests
- Children’s next steps information
- Coverage of skills
In 2020 Dean Field hosted an Early Impact training course titled ‘Outdoors on a Budget’ for our EYFS staff and other EYFS staff from surrounding schools and nurseries within the Halifax community. We spent the evening learning about how to create and provide lots of different activities and resources to support children’s learning outside, this professional development equalled in receiving a certificate of training. We look forward to trialling out some of the ideas in the future! Thank you to everyone who organised the event and gave up their time to attend.