1st Edition

Learning on your doorstep: Stimulating writing through creative play outdoors for ages 5-9

By Isabel Hopwood-Stephens Copyright 2013
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    As the Forest School movement gains popularity among UK educators, teachers are increasingly recognising the benefits of creative outdoor play. But how can busy primary school teachers fit regular, high quality outdoor learning into an already crowded timetable? How can they plan a range of rich, imaginative and creative experiences that build up into full topics? And how can they translate the excitement and engagement that they find out doors into increased enthusiasm and attainment indoors?

    Learning on Your Doorstep integrates creative outdoor play with curricular attainment, while increasing the challenge, enjoyment and professional development of the teachers using it. The book presents a series of topics which channel the children’s outdoor experience into writing outcomes to reflect the current Primary Framework for Literacy. Using child-led, kinaesthetic teaching and learning techniques, each topic helps teacher and class build an imaginary world to explore and includes:

    • Session plan tables to enable teachers to easily access relevant information;
    • collaborative activities, games and drama to stimulate discussion;
    • photo-copiable items such as letters, imaginary maps and animal fact jigsaws;
    • optional classroom follow-up activities and a final writing task;
    • tips on how to prepare and resource each session.

    Guidance on adapting for different abilities and ages is also given, along with curriculum links and pedagogical rationale, to let primary teachers put creative outdoor play at the centre of the primary teaching timetable.

    The ideas in this book are suitable for implementation in any school environment, using resources commonly found in the stock cupboard or home. All you will need to add is some preparation and imagination!

    Chapter 1 – Why Use the Outdoors for Writing?; Chapter 2 – Getting Ready; Chapter 3 – How to Use the Writing Topics; Chapter 4 – Topic 1 / The Enchanted Forest; Chapter 5 – Topic 2 / Forest Club; Chapter 6 – Topic 3 / Island Quest!; Chapter 7 – Topic 4 / Woodland Spies; Chapter 8 – Topic 5 / Celtic Life; Chapter 9 – Topic 6 / Animal World; Chapter 10 – How Do I…?; Appendices; References


    Isabel Hopwood-Stephens has worked as a primary school teacher in Years 1, 2 and 3. As an OCN Level 3 Forest Schools Leader, she has also run many after-school clubs and school trips specialising in Forest School activities, and explored the benefits of creative and imaginative outdoor learning on the writing performance of her classes.