ETI have produced a thematic paper on delivering the curriculum outdoors in pre-school and foundation stage classes. The report provides information on the effective delivery of the curriculum through outdoor learning within early year’s classes in pre-schools and FS classes in primary schools. It also highlights some of the successes and challenges reported by staff and reflects the range of external support that is available.
Prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, most settings had begun developing their outdoor learning provision. The rate of development accelerated in response to the guidance from the Public Health Authority and the Department of Education (DE) to maximise the use of outdoor spaces to promote children’s learning, health and well-being and the availability of additional funding from DE.
Throughout May and June 2021, District Inspectors engaged in conversations with principals and pre-school leaders and visited a sample of 43 settings including 5 nursery units, 7 nursery schools, 16 voluntary pre-school playgroups and foundation stage (FS) classes in 17 primary schools. Inspectors, in agreement with the settings, observed children’s engagement in outdoor learning across the pre-school and FS curricula. The report is based on this first-hand observation and evidence.
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