The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom works with many organisations across a range of sectors to promote and champion the benefits of learning outside the classroom.
Here are what some of our partners have to say:
Farming and Countryside Education:
What does farming mean to children when there is plentiful food in the shops? Why should the rural economy matter when they perceive their future employment to be in the city? Does the countryside offer them anything apart from a large green space for the occasional recreational visit with parents?
There is an enormous amount of goodwill within the agricultural sector to encourage and support educational visits to the countryside but just over ten years ago, educational visits to farms were at an all time low. This was due to the general perception by schools that such visits were not safe and had little curriculum relevance. How different now!
The Learning Outside the Classroom ‘movement’ has had a pivotal role in creating a very different climate and educational visits to farms are now thriving. Given the right support and encouragement, we can help children understand about our food, where it comes from, how it is grown and why it matters.
English Outdoor Council:
As the sector partnership body for the adventurous activities sector, the English Outdoor Council has been a strong supporter of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom since its inception. Two current trends make the CLOtC more relevant than ever. First, the LOtC Quality Badge is now recognized by the vast majority of local authorities as sufficient to allow them to authorise schools to use badged providers. This should lead to an increased uptake of the badge in all sectors. Second, the government’s emphasis on removing central guidance and prescription in favour of local decision making at school level makes communication of the powerful educational benefits of LOtC to schools more important than ever. CLOtC is uniquely placed to provide that vital communication link to encourage more schools to realise those benefits.
School Travel Forum
The known benefits for pupils of learning outside the classroom are many and varied. They include: improved engagement and attendance; the development of learning and thinking skills; and the strengthening of personal, social and emotional development (e.g. confidence, self-reliance, and management of risk). Ofsted found that well-planned activities not only enhance pupils’ learning, but can also re-engage those who are hard to motivate.
The STF is one of the Awarding Bodies for the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge which is the self-regulation scheme with the widest acceptance. The Quality Badge provides for the first time a national accreditation combining the essential elements of provision – learning and safety – into one easily recognisable and trusted Quality Badge for all types of Learning Outside the Classroom provider organisations. It provides a counter-point to the concerns which can deter effective ‘real life’ learning.
The LOtC Quality Badge and the wider work of the LOtC Council provide a unique and valuable focus through which the significant benefits to pupils can be realised.