TAKING advantage of what Pembrokeshire has to offer and improving child well-being through outdoor learning is under the spotlight as Covid-19 restrictions lift and preparations continue for Wales’ new curriculum.

A full audit of ‘learning in the outdoors’ provision in all primary schools and childcare settings in the county is to be carried out focusing on what is available, planned and the confidence of foundation phase teachers on delivering the new curriculum which embeds learning outside.

The new curriculum for Wales has been introduced and will be fully implemented in 2022 and there is an emphasis on the importance of outdoor learning for health and well-being, members of the schools and learning overview and scrutiny committee heard on Thursday (June 10).

Pembrokeshire school’s have strong partnerships with a number of outdoor education organisations, said Hayli Gibson, lead for early years, childcare and play, and many already use the outdoor environment for learning and play, especially since the pandemic.

There is likely to a be a move back to unstructured play as restrictions lift, she added, in response to concerns raised by Cllr Alison Tudor that some activities were becoming more regimented, as a result of a requirement to keep children in ‘bubbles’ and with the same members of staff.

Parent governor representative Tom Moses, who works for the National Park in outdoor education, said there is “huge potential, not just for school children but across the board.”

Welsh Government grants for outdoor equipment have been issued and there is also funding for forest school training for around 30 practitioners the committee heard as it welcomed the results of the full audit of provision.