Outdoor learning: Foundation Year

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Students at this stage

Typically, students in Foundation Year are curious about nature. They often notice things outdoors that adults miss. There is an opportunity to encourage this curiosity and develop skills and knowledge to safely enjoy the outdoors. It is also important that students at this age learn the skills to assess and move on uneven and varied surfaces.

Fresh air and outdoor play alone and in groups are essential components of a child’s development. Foundation students require opportunities for free play in a range of outdoor places that the local environment can provide, including boulders, trees, grasslands, creeks, lakes and beaches. Movement such as climbing, tunnelling, swinging, rolling, jumping, and throwing stones help develop a physically capable child in the outdoors. Taking simple measures such as wearing sunscreen and a hat can maximise enjoyment and safety in the outdoors.

Children begin to develop awareness and respect for others and learn about the role and place of natural things. They may have fears about animals such as spiders, snakes and crocodiles and need reassurance and education about these things. They learn to explore without leaving an impact on nature and develop empathy towards other living things.

Adapted from OEA website, accessed 8 December 2016. http://outdooreducationaustralia.org.au/education/sequencing/

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