Learning 1 Feb 2021

Outdoor learning: an authentic hands-on experience

By CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications

Learning at school doesn’t just happen in the classroom. It can also be in the form of outdoor experiences such as exploring the playground, a walk in the neighborhood, or even a trip across the world. Ultimately outdoor learning is a valuable part of education because it provides students with vital hands-on learning experiences. 

Here at CIS, the length and focus of outdoor learning programmes vary according to the age group. In kindergarten, outdoor learning is based on inquiry and play so it takes place at the school’s outdoor centres. Older grades, on the other hand, enjoy lessons in the outdoor centres and the amphitheatre as well as field trips and excursions. The Open Minds programme also provides various hands-on learning opportunities by taking students to outdoor venues like Fort Canning Park, Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, and the Eco Garden at the Science Centre.

One example would be the grade 2s’ trip to Gardens by the Bay. They had been tasked to explore how water is transported around a plant and how photosynthesis works. In one activity, students played a hands-on game in teams where each team member was allocated a task. After they have completed the task, they could collect a colour block. Each colour block represented a different element involved in the photosynthesis process like sunlight, carbon dioxide, water, and chlorophyll. The students then acted in a skit to show how the elements are combined to produce glucose. 

We are sure that you’d agree that such activities provide an authentic and memorable learning experience that you can’t get in a classroom!