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5 Feb 2018

Take me outside: primary school explores Eddlewood

Written by Heath Brown
Exploring Eddlewood was a programme of six outdoor learning sessions designed to help pupils with behaviour issues to step beyond the school gate

Take Me Outside is a Trust community outreach programme which supports outdoor learning in primary schools. We support teachers and pupils to step beyond the school gate and explore Trust places and local greenspaces. 88.9% of our work is undertaken in areas of deprivation.

Exploring Eddlewood was a programme of six outdoor learning sessions for St. Elizabeth’s Primary School in the nearby Hamilton greenspace. St. Elizabeth’s is situated in one of the 15% most deprived areas according to the Scottish index of multiple deprivation (SIMD).

The pupils selected to participate in Exploring Eddlewood were P5 to P7 children who had behavioural issues. They were only allowed to attend on a Friday afternoon if they had behaved all week had achieved a ‘gold star’. This incentive proved extremely effective at improving the behaviour of some pupils.

The Exploring Eddlewood sessions were part of pupil’s ‘golden time’ so were designed to be lots of fun as well as extremely educational. This informal approach to learning allowed the pupils to direct the sessions, which in turn encouraged them to investigate and explore.

Activities included tree identification through leaf scavenger hunts, soil surveys with muddy fun and wonderful worms, to the colour of nature creating paint form nature and creating wonderful pictures.

The programme can continue by being led by a St. Elizabeth’s teacher who attended Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) training session to develop outdoor learning skills, ran by the Trust Outreach team.

"I loved the worms best with their saddles."

"The Tent was cool and kept us dry."

"It was cool learning all the skills like, how to make flour dough."

- Comments from St. Elizabeth’s Primary School pupils -