Outdoor learning is moving forward at Dartmouth Academy

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Through a range of initiatives and innovative pedagogy; all phases of pupils at the Academy are now provided with multiple opportunities to make the most of the great outdoors and enhance their educational experience.

The arrival of the new build has also provided some exciting outdoor spaces that are designed to engage and add context to the curriculum; sensory gardens, a maths court, wild areas, an allotment and the development of an outdoor classroom will all have a positive impact on the development of learners as a whole at the Academy.

Not only have many pupils at Dartmouth Academy been provided with opportunities to engage in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, John Muir Award or Forest School but they are also experiencing an increase in the amount of curriculum lessons that are now integrating outdoor learning activities on a regular basis.

Emma Heard who teaches in the Early Years Foundation Stage explained that "Outdoor learning has always been an integral part of our EYFS provision, enabling all areas of learning to be accessed. Learning outside provides opportunities to work on a larger scale. We are enjoying the on-going development of our outdoor spaces and the opportunities they will offer us."

Geography teacher, Simon Risdon, said "Throughout the year the opportunity for students to explore their surrounding environment is paramount in developing their understanding of the world at a range of scales - from local to global. Feedback from students indicates that the opportunity to immerse themselves in out of class fieldwork allows them to gain a much greater appreciation of concepts studied in class and also helps them to become more aware of the uniqueness of the area in which we live which includes Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Nature Reserves and National Parks.

In addition, field trips allow us to nurture in our students the simple pleasures of enjoying the landscapes around us for their own sake.