Making it Count

The children at Mosspits Primary in Liverpool benefit from fantastic outdoor spaces designed to create environmental zones where children can learn outdoors.

These include a pirate galleon, a multi-purpose games area and a storytelling zone, the zones are thronged with children at breaktimes – and busy during lessons too, as staff take learning outside the classroom.

Hand in hand with continuing to improve and refine the facilities, the school is also committed to developing a whole raft of structured approaches to al fresco learning.

Maths co-ordinator, Helen Lisney said: “Our outdoor environment is a learning resource in itself – so we really want to make it count! And, since the world around us is made up of numbers and shapes, outdoor maths is a must!”

As a school believing in the importance and value of external relationships, Mosspits invited Liverpool-based as creatives to come in for a day to both model some methodologies with children and lead a twilight learning session for teachers.

“We know as creatives well,” says Helen, “and recently experienced their approaches to outdoor maths at a conference organised by the Liverpool School Improvement team.”

On a bleak, blustery and very rainy day the Reception classes saw their pirate galleon through new eyes as they searched for and identified shapes that are important to a life on the high seas.

Pupils in Year 2 participated in three activities – generating material for maths poems, making detailed mathematical and labeled drawings of the fantastically intricate bug hotel and trying a problem-solving puzzle on the giant chessboard.

And, as the rain continued to gather strength, teachers stayed on long after the children had gone home, sharing some of the approaches they were already taking, tackling a specially designed Maths Trail developed for them by as creatives and planning a whole series of new activities, to be shared across the school.

“We all had a great day!” said Helen. “And nobody seems any the worse for wear from being out in the rain!”

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