An Erasmus+ Training course on the Outdoor Approach in Teaching in Bratislava

One of the main areas of Maria Regina College plan for 2024 is Outdoor Teaching and Learning. In fact, one of six Erasmus+ projects which are part of Maria Regina College Accreditation, was Teaching through Play.  In June 2024, a group of two primary school leaders and six Kindergarten educators from all MRC Primary schools attended this training course in Bratislava.

The aim of this Erasmus+ course was that participants acquire a practical understanding of how to make use of outdoor spaces and how their learning environment could incorporate outdoor activities effectively.  It helped participants discover how to involve students in stimulating learning out of class.  Participants explored the importance of going OUTdoor and connecting the self with nature first before passing this notion to others. This is a new approach for many schools. Outdoors provide many benefits including social and communication, self-esteem, respect towards nature, fine and gross motor skills.  MRC Kindergarten Educators and School Leaders had the opportunity to plan practical activities focusing on social emotional competences and social and emotional learning in the outdoor context.  These activities helped the participants understand how the outdoors and nature help social emotional learning and wellbeing in the school context.

MRC Kindergarten Educators and School Leaders focused on the process of change: they had the opportunity to reflect on where we are now and where we want to go. They also had the time to discuss and plan how to implement the change step by step and discuss how to motivate their colleagues to join in this practical teaching in the outdoor context upon their return to Malta.

Through this mobility, participants had several intense practical outdoor activities immersed in nature.  They also had the opportunity to visit local Kindergarten schools which implement the outdoor approach.

It was a positive learning experience for educators, and they are all determined to implement this approach with pupils in our College.

Special thanks to EUPA.