Bringing all-year-round outdoor learning to life in East Devon

Schools are being reminded that they can arrange year-round outdoor sessions with education rangers from East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Countryside Team who will help children get the most out of learning about nature and the outside world.

Evidence shows that giving children the opportunity to discover, learn about and experience the natural world is hugely important and the education rangers believe that outdoor learning shouldn’t be limited to summer alone.

Meg Knowles, a ranger for EDDC, said: “Winter provides some excellent outdoor learning opportunities which help encourage children to get outside and explore, whatever the weather, as long as they are dressed appropriately.

“School groups and families can join us to become nature detectives – looking for clues and evidence left behind by animals, and learning how animals and plants have adapted to survive their environment and the changing seasons. Our sessions include carrying out exciting hands on experiments, making a cosy Dormouse nest, hiding nuts whilst playing the squirrel game and building a bird feeder to help the birds survive the colder months.”

The education rangers work with young people aged from pre-school, through to further education, to deliver outdoor learning experiences all-year-round. Spending time outdoors wrapped up warmly, can be a positive experience whatever the weather and being active engages children and helps them be ready to learn when returning indoors.

The rangers have recently held sessions with children from Shute Primary School and Foundation Stage Unit Leader Gilly Clark said: “Working with the education rangers at Seaton Wetlands engaged the children in practical, hands on activities. We had a fantastic day, in the beautiful wetlands setting; taking part in games and activities which linked to our topic on nocturnal animals. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by the whole class, including parent helpers!”

To find out more about the East Devon District Council’s Countryside Education work visit wildeastdevon.co.uk, or contact the rangers directly via education@eastdevon.gov.uk.

Pictured is Maddie, 5, and Isabella aged 4, from Shute Primary School.