Former Sheffield teacher describes importance of outdoor learning during Covid-19 pandemic

Learning outdoors can boost wellbeing and have a postive impact on the behaviour of primary school children, a former Sheffield teacher has said.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 4:45 pm

As England enters its third national lockdown and schools close their doors, many parents may be left wondering whether their young children are getting the best learning experience possible while at home.

The answer is outdoor learning, according to Sheffield-based teacher Sarah Seaman, who explained how it can used to compliment online lessons and keep children active by giving them a play-based educational experience while out in the open air.

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The Muddy Puddle Teacher Approach was created in 2018 by former Sheffield teacher Sarah Seaman who has over 12 years experience within the primary sector

Sarah, who has over 12 years experience within the primary sector, developed her own outdoor learning approach in 2018 called the ‘Muddy Puddle Teacher’ which combines the use of natural and upcycled resources with teaching of Early Years Foundation Stage and the national curriculum.

Currently around 11,000 schools around the world are signed up to the training – with more individual teachers, practioners, and parents already using the approach on a regular basis.

And now Sarah is offering a host of Muddy Puddle Teacher resources to parents and teachers to use for free until children are able to return to school.

Sarah said: “Our approach is simple, we take the curriculum outside but only use upcycled and natural resources and there’s many reasons for that.

The Muddy Puddle Teacher is offering daily resources for free during the lockdown - with ideas that encompass natural and upcycled resources which can be easily found at home or while out and about

"One is manageability for the teachers because when they start taking whiteboards and pens outside it become hassle but also it’s better for the environment as children drop things quite a lot so this doesn’t harm the environment. There are so many science and creative links too.

"For example, using sticks to make a story board and then using leaves and marker pens to make speech bubbles and stick men characters.

"The benefits that children get from that are endless. They aren’t having lots of plastic goods in their faces all the time, they’re being taught to re-use but also use their imagination and be creative which is sometimes getting taken away because of iPads, TV and other technology.

"By doing this we’re balancing how much stimulus we put in their faces and how much they’ve got to create on their own. Also, there is the physical wellbeing – especially this time of year.”

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