”Place making’ involves more than just learning about the human and physical geography of a place; it demands that students (who are of course community members) actively construct the ongoing story of a place’ Beames, Higgins and Nicol 2012
For every child at St Andrew’s, the journey through education must include planned, quality learning experiences that take place out with the classroom. We have embedded Learning Beyond the Classroom in all aspects of learning, teaching and assessment.
At St Andrew’s our vision for outdoor learning is that:
- all children participate daily in outdoor learning experiences (throughout the year and in variable weather) which are embedded in our curriculum and raise attainment and achievement
- learning beyond the classroom is seen as a normal part of the St Andrew’s learning, teaching and assessment experience (we provide waterproofs and wellies as appropriate)
- learning beyond the classroom connects our staff and pupils with their spaces and stories, with each other, with the natural world, with our built heritage and shared Catholic values; this can happen within our grounds, our local area and at indoor and outdoor venues across our city
Every day our pupils experience ‘real learning’ beyond the walls of their classrooms
Our playground is HUGE! It wraps its arms around our building and offers us a safe and welcoming learning and teaching space. All classes use this learning space daily.
We recognise the angles in our trim trail and can calculate the distance between holds on our climbing wall. We write poems inspired by the seasons as they change around us and make music mirroring the rhythm of our space. We sit by ‘Nessie’ and share stories as if by the campfire. We throw and catch and race and jump.
At break and lunch our playground becomes like a hive! Children move throughout the space creating games and building relationships. The space becomes a magical land, a wild river, a mountain to summit or a world to save.
Our Astro Space
Our Astro field is well used and fully timetabled throughout the school day. Our PE staff and our class teachers support all learners to develop their physical skills and competencies as well as developing healthy competition and respectful behaviour.
St Andrew’s is nestled near the top of Corstorphine Hill. We make excellent use of this wild space or the Walled Garden within it and all classes learn on our hill a minimum of once per week. As humans in this community we shape this landscape and it shapes our learning.
We walk, cycle and scoot these streets. Dads and Mums connect here over homework and missing jumpers. Grandparents smile as they see our classes snake down the pavement to learn in the local green space. These streets are special and unique to us.
We love our local spaces and places but we can also learn from adventures beyond. Church, the pool and the zoo offer important, often inspiring experiences and we use them well. P5-P7 classes benefit from residential experiences making memories that last a life time.
Head Teacher Blog
Building skills for success often begins with recognising our strengths and acknowledging areas for growth. In doing this work with our pupils, we have not only identified useful tools for conversation and exploration but also an interesting opportunity to look and learn within ourselves. In 2018 Skills Development Scotland published a key document, Skills 4.0:Continue reading “Meet Our Learning Characters”
You will imagine my delight when a parent recently sent us this! What a great testimonial for our school family! Why I choose St. Andrews for my children by Lianne Donaldson School Values- I was concerned that because we weren’t from a catholic background, would St Andrews be suitable for us? But the answer is aContinue reading “Why I chose St Andrew’s for my children: a parent’s view”
There’s something special about Corstorphine Hill but it’s actually quite hard to put your finger on just what it is that makes it so magical up there. Is it the walled garden with its iron gates and exquisite planting or the boggy pools near the rocks on the west side? Perhaps it is the stoneContinue reading “Our hill, my paths”