Beyond the classroom

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By Nina Filipekfreelance education writer

Break free of the four walls and take your teaching into nature. There’s so much cross-curricular potential out there

Outdoor learning doesn’t mean you have to organise a special trip. Why not make the most of the outdoors right outside your classroom window? Look at the opportunities for learning within the grounds of your school and build some outdoors time into your curriculum this spring.

mini scarecrow

Best-dressed scarecrow (art and design)

You will need: small wooden spoon; buttons to decorate; scraps of wool and thread; fabric for the clothes; sticks and twigs; PVA glue; child-friendly scissors.

Make a family of scarecrows to protect young seedlings growing in your outdoor space. As well as Mr Scarecrow, you can make Mrs Scarecrow and their scarecrow children, using different-sized spoons and specially designed clothes. Link with D&T objectives to design paper patterns for the clothes, and discuss the best materials to use. For example, you might decide to only use waterproof fabrics and test their suitability in your science lessons.

Start by using wool to attach the scarecrow’s ‘arms’ (a straight twig or a wooden chopstick) to the handle of the spoon. Place the scarecrow on top of your fabric (or tracing paper if you are going to make a pattern first). Draw a jacket to fit around the shape of the body, leaving a space to join the seams later. Cut it out carefully (you will need a front and back) and either glue or sew the sides together. Decorate and add details to your scarecrow using buttons and other scrap materials.

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