Parents and schools are becoming more active in encouraging creative play-based education to promote life and social skills through free and guided play. But, moving one step further, why not take classroom instruction outside? Changing the environment from a traditional classroom setting can rekindle a child’s interest in learning, alongside other benefits.
Learning about nature is not the same as experiencing it. Watching a plant grow that a child has planted themselves is a wondrous experience. Likewise, an urban outdoor classroom can introduce children to the local wildlife in a genuine way. Give your outdoor classroom bird feeders and have children—in turn—to be responsible for them. Similarly, do the same with growing plants. Learning to nurture is a gift with long-term benefits that arise from teaching in an outdoor space.
What The Research Says
Several studies have indicated that pupils have very positive responses to being taught in an outdoor environment, whether in a shepherd’s hut, a yurt or a bespoke outdoor classroom. These include,
- An improved attitude about school
- Improved in-school behaviour
- Better attendance
- Enhanced student achievement when students learn in and about nature. I
The thinking is that outdoor education effectively employs a greater range of children’s intelligence.
Outdoor Learning Offers A Child More Freedom
Moving away from the norm of an indoor classroom to the freedom of a relaxed outdoor setting frees a child’s mind, encouraging independence and creative thinking. Having an outdoor classroom is a great way of introducing children to ecology and nature—a far more real experience than bringing nature inside. Children become part of the outdoors, which leads them to be more inquisitive about nature.
Children Interact More Positively In An Outdoor Environment
This is with each other and with their teachers. Once again, moving to a less formal environment encourages imagination and independence. Children are more inclined to ask questions, are less reticent than in a more formal setting, becoming more motivated and involved.
Removed from the usual seating arrangements of an indoor classroom encourages children to work better in groups than when inside.
Being Outdoors Lowers Stress
Outdoor learning can defuse stress, as the outside setting promotes a sense of play and relaxation that can be hard to find indoors. In addition, having a class outside can help a child who might be easily distracted, anxious, or have symptoms of ADHD.
Let Us Help You Develop An Outdoor Classroom
The School Playground Company can help provide your school with an outdoor classroom that will suit your budget and needs. From enclosed spaces for small classes to shelters and canopies that can offer some protection from adverse weather and still allow a class to partake in outdoor education.
We can provide bespoke timber outdoor classrooms, alongside gazebos and other structures, that will encourage a child’s sense of adventure and help them reach out and be part of the nature surrounding them. Our adaptable structures meet the needs of all students and teachers.
Book an appointment with us now to discuss your needs.