Learning Outside the Classroom

Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC) is the use of places other than the classroom for teaching and learning. It provides a range of different environments and opportunities that are less formal and so help students to engage in learning and to consolidate their knowledge into real life experiences and contexts.

Expanding horizons

We believe that every child should be given the opportunity to experience life and lessons beyond the classroom walls as a regular part of growing up. These experiences expand the horizons of young people, opening their eyes to the wonders of areas such as art, heritage, culture, adventure and the natural world. 

Raising Aspirations

We ensure that more young people have access to these life changing educational experiences by providing support on the ground, facilitating the sharing of best practice and promoting the benefits of LOTC in raising attainment and aspirations, reducing truancy and re-motivating those who are disengaged from their education.

“The best classroom and richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky”

Margaret MacMillan, Historian

Building real-life skills

Learning outside the classroom is about raising young people’s achievement through an organised, powerful approach to learning in which direct experience is of prime importance. Meaningful learning occurs through acquiring skills through real life hands-on activities.

This is not only about what we learn, but most importantly, how and where we learn. It is about improving young people’s understanding, skills, values, personal and social development and can act as a vehicle to develop young people’s capacity and motivation to learn.

There is a wealth of evidence which clearly demonstrates the benefits for young people’s learning and personal development outside the classroom. Real-world learning brings the benefits of formal and informal education together and reinforces what good educationalists have always known: that the most meaningful learning occurs through acquiring knowledge and skills through real-life, practical or hands-on activities.

All students at Belong School Devon have Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC) activities built into their timetables. Our highly personalised provisions mean that these span a range of activities for each student depending upon the areas for development identified for that student. 

Structured learning to promote growth

LOTC activities range from full day visits and field trips to activities taking place onsite or within walking distance of the school site, which make up the majority of cases. Activities may take place working 1:1 with a learning coach or as part of a class or small group.

Whatever the venue and group size, LOTC activities always have one or more specific learning objectives identified as intended outcomes. These may be related to an area of the academic curriculum within a subject area, a student’s specific EHCP targets, or the development of independence and life skills.