There are opportunities for learning EVERYWHERE!


After a very stressful week of exams and assignments at university, I am FINALLY HOME in Northern Ireland! I decided that, as it is Mother’s Day today, I would bring my mum up to the Sperrin Mountains -which are just a few miles away from my house- so that we could go for a walk. , I was amazed when I got out of the car and looked around the surroundings. I couldn’t help but think ‘There is so much potential for learning’ – I still obviously have my ‘teacher head’ on! But it’s true – as I walked deeper and deeper into the countryside, I kept seeing more and more creative opportunities for learning. My mum, sister and I were walking up a really really steep hill and were discussing the beauty of the trees – they all look the same from a distance, yet when you look up close, every single tree is different in it’s own right. One tree had a smooth, dark trunk, yet the one beside it had a type of fungus growing on it, making it look white and fury. This can easily be related to Health and Wellbeing as it is important for children to learn about the concept of individuality. We continuted on our walk and suddenly, in the distance, a deer walked across the path. This led us to discuss how the deer survives on its own, how it finds food and why it got scared and ran away when it heard us. If children were given this opportunity to explore the countryside and to see this deer, they would be able to appreciate their timid nature and understand what sort of environment they live in. As my mum, sister and I reached the ‘turning point’ on our walk, a small puppy came running up to us. We gave the puppy the attention it was looking for and looked about to find its owners. We were, however, in completely barren land and there was no-one in sight at the time. We decided that it’s owners must be further down the path where we were walking so we encouraged the puppy to follow us down again. This led to discussion about what we would do if we got lost in a forest with no phone reception, and how you could stay safe. At the end of the path, there we saw the puppy’s worried owners whom it had run away from and they were happily reunited! In conclusion I think that if we included more outdoor learning, including learning in the country-side where possible, we can provide children with some really wonderful opportunities to learn about the world around us – enabling them to become successful learners which the Curriculum for Excellence aims to promote.

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