A Breath Of Of Fresh Air…
Independent School Parent|Spring 2017

Simon Gedye and James Duffield of Moor Park School, Shropshire, took up the challenge of bringing lessons to life, by turning their classrooms inside out

In our experience, some of the most valuable initiatives stem from a bit of staff room banter. Teachers are a competitive bunch and coffee times are often abound with things we would like to change or improve; ideas are floated, built upon, shot down and rebuilt again. Indeed, recent conversations in our staff room focussed on the topic of the woods, and the claim that Moor Park is an “outdoor” school.

There is no doubt that we have the right credentials; we have 85 acres of beautiful parkland and woodland, including a much-used and loved Forest School site. Our children enjoy being outside – they are active and competitive, muddy wellies adorn the racks outside classrooms, and tree climbing is a staple part of playtime.

Changing the norm

Given all this, you would think the staff would be content that the “outdoors” box had been well and truly ticked. And yet, there remained a feeling that it just wasn’t enough. The argument didn’t really stem from what the children choose to do in their playtimes, but more on what the staff choose to do in their teaching time. The question shouldn’t be, “what are we teaching in our classrooms?” but “why are we teaching in our classrooms?”.

Learning inside out

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