Assessing Progress In Outdoor Learning

Assessing Progress In Outdoor Learning

children-441895_1920 (1)All those in childcare settings and learning services need to regularly assess the progress of the children in their care.

It is well known that learning outdoors can be very beneficial; it can support learning about the natural world and encourage physical education, personal development, and improve self-esteem.

However, these skills can be a challenge to monitor if you don’t have the right tools.

Planning Guides

One of the first things you should consider doing is creating a planning document for each child. This should be unique and based on each child’s current progress, skills, and preferences.

For instance, if a child is reluctant to grow plants then you could try shelter building instead.

While this might seem challenging to create unique plans for each child, with the right development matrix or flowchart, this process can be made much easier.

Development Matrix/Flowchart

This is a document that gives a group of activities that are suitable for a child once they’ve made certain milestones.

For example, if a child has learnt to grow cress they could then be encouraged to grow more challenging plants such as flowers, tomatoes, or carrots, or learn about the basic parts of a plant.

Tracking Grids

Tracking grids are a document which can be used to tick off milestones or developments each child has demonstrated.

They can be created to document both when the child first demonstrated a skill and when they’ve shown further examples of it, or as a simple tick chart for when the child demonstrates each skill.

Tracking grids can then be fed into the development matrix to see what activities could be offered to further a skill, or knowledge. The grid can also be used to help with planning.

Paperwork For Proof Of Development

While this all sounds like a lot of paperwork to keep and use; it can be useful in auditing as well as session planning.

These documents can help you identify any deficits in your provision and quickly rectify them. It can also help you demonstrate to OFSTED the wide range of activities you offer and the learning that is achieved.

How do you show progress in your setting? What impact does it have on the provision you can give your children?

Let us know in the comments.

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Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures at schools, nurseries and commercial organisations across the UK.
For more information call 0800 389 9072, email

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