Bring outdoor activities into everyday PE – Westwood first school

Westwood First School have brought the concept of orienteering back from a visit to Standon Bowers after seeing how much the children enjoyed the challenge. By using nails knocked into a piece of wood they have created a control (marker) that would be easier for younger children to use. Inspirational PE lead Deb (and her skilled husband) made the nail patterns into 25 controls and then hand drew black and white map.

After beginning to use this as part of PE, Deb realised that it would be good way of practising times tables but struggled to get enough answers with only being 25 controls.  After a short trial they began to use multiple choice to increase range of answers which proved very successful – the children and teachers loved it! With this now an option, Deb began to look into other areas of the maths curriculum including measure, fractions, percentages, ratios, odd/even, sequences, time, money etc.  and created a colour map.  The multiple choice question worksheets became books which include answer sheets for the teachers, meaning all that needs to be done is to photocopy sheets and the session is prepared. This has then grown to become cross curricular, with sheets made to use the course for used for Spanish, French, geography, science, history, challenge afternoons, parent workshops and for charity events such as sports relief. Teachers and even children have made own nail trail sheets too!

Across school the children love the nail trail, they run to find the next answer and it has proved a good way of getting children active and learning without them realising, fitting seamlessly with the obesity strategy. Deb noted that maintenance is minimal after the initial set up- maps need updating if area has changed and wood rots over years but other than basic half termly checks it is easily managed. 

Impact: The pupils experience setting and reading a map supported by reading the key in a safe, familiar environment of the school grounds preparing them for more extensive orienteering opportunities but also building on the key skills of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities-  communication, teamwork and resilience. The opportunity to apply this across a range of subjects means that more pupils get more regular opportunities to work on these skills.

Sustainability: The nail trail, books of sheets to use it across a range of subjects and staff understanding of how to implement this successfully will continue to be used for years to come. 

Key indicators: 1,2,3,4,5

If you are interested in developing this area in school we can offer bespoke sessions to help you set this up and train your staff in school. We also have the following courses that may be of interest:

Supporting Forest School Activities in your school,9.15 – 3.30pm.Get your teaching assistants, teachers or other adults enthused and wishing to improve their knowledge of what outdoor learning and forest school activities are and how they can can support with sessions in school.

Day Course: 4thMarch 2021, Westwood First School, Leek, ST13 8DL                                       Cost £150                                          

Developing pupils life skills through PE , 9.00 -16.00: Looking at how we can best use the opportunities PE gives us to develop skills that will benefit pupils in later life.

Day event  24thMarch 2021 – Littleton Green Community Primary School, WS12 4UD            Cost £150

1 Day Outdoor and Adventurous Activities Course, 9:15am-3.30pm:A day to explore arange of ideas and activities for delivering Outdoor and Adventurous Activities on your school site. It will also showcase ways of linking these activities to other areas of the curriculum to promote cross curricular learning and the development of wider life skills.                 Cost £150

Day Course: Wednesday 21stApril 21 –Venue TBC