Lincoln Minster School becomes the Flagship Muddy School for Lincoln. For some time now the Pre-Preparatory School has been working towards providing more natural, engaging. active and multi-sensory learning opportunities for their children and today these muddy efforts were acknowledged and awarded.
With many, almost all, children now owning a device or two, TV access 24 hours a day and games too entertaining to put down, schools are paying more attention to the way they have normally taught children and realising that now more than ever children need to be moving! But Lincoln Minster school went one more than that they also realised that children need to be out in fresh air, learning about nature and having respect for the wildlife, plants, trees and world they live in.
The Flagship status was awarded to the school by The Muddy Puddle Teacher, Sarah Seaman, teacher of 11 years and now creative outdoor learning consultant from Sheffield. A year ago Sarah developed 'The Muddy Schools Approach' which is an outdoor teaching and learning method that encourages schools to teach in engaging ways, connecting children to nature and making learning inclusive for all learner types. Sarah released this approach in December 2018 and now has over 30,000 followers on her social media sites, three Flagship Muddy Schools and counting and trains schools all over the country on her methods to get kids outside, loving learning and noticing the world around them.
Becky Skelton, Outdoor Learning lead at the school and lead Muddy Schools coordinator, shares a little more on some of the activities the school has been up to:
"For many years I have been passionate about getting children outdoors, embracing different outdoor environments whatever the weather. Before coordinating specific outdoor learning sessions for children aged 3-8, I integrated a variety of different outdoor learning activities and pursuits into the after school and holiday club programme throughout the year. The benefits of encouraging this interaction with the outdoor environment are immense and it was through experiencing these benefits first hand that I sought to develop an inspirational and creative outdoor learning programme during the school day. After building a dedicated outdoor learning area I set about organising weekly sessions as part of the curriculum. Whilst these sessions are not linked to a specific area of the curriculum, they do develop a wide range of skills associated with all aspects of learning."
Sarah Seaman, Managing Director of The Muddy Puddle Teacher, explains more why this school stood out to her.
"I get the marvellous opportunity to go up and down the country visiting lots of schools, nurseries, home educators and childminders. I purposely spread myself across all educational settings, the more heads together, the better. So I know when I see good outdoor learning practice and I equally know how hard it is to achieve this but how important it is that the modern day child gets it. Lincoln Minster gets just that, they get that the children need it, they know it's hard work but they do it for the child. The efforts they have gone too1, to build more natural spaces, use natural resources and bring subjects such as maths and phonics outside is just what we're looking for in excellent Muddy Schools Practice and the reason why they had to be awarded a Flagship Muddy Schools status for Lincoln. We only award one school per city with this status. We will now continue to support the school doing all of our training and working with them to develop the approach even more and to then further support the local schools around them. We want to thank Lincoln Minster School for their continued to support and what they're doing for the children in their school is empowering! "
To find out more about The Muddy Puddle Teacher and the Muddy Schools approach head here: www.themuddypuddleteacher.co.uk