There’s not much that can be compared to the great outdoors is there? It’s free, it’s constantly changing with the seasons and it’s good for you. Outdoor learning has gained a lot of traction in many schools over recent years. With the introduction of Forest Schools into some institutions, children now have more opportunities than ever before to engage in the world around them. And a good thing too!
Learning in the natural environment is especially engaging for children of all learning styles and all personalities. Children who are more physical in their day-to-day living will love the opportunity to be free of the desk and chair for a while and those who have an artistic bent will simply love being among the beauty of nature. There isn’t one subject that cannot be taught as part of an outdoor learning programme. Whether it’s maths, science, physical education or art, the outdoor environment has it all.
Maths and science
Maths and science for children of all ages comes into play with den and bridge building. Learning about balance and measurements, engineering and architecture are all part of these activities. They learn about photosynthesis and what plants need to survive, as well as the natural habitats of various bugs and animals. As they physically engage, children are also benefiting from fresh air and exercise as they learn.
Arts and literature
Drawing and sketching the things around them in the natural environment is a wonderful way to teach children art. There’s nothing like sitting among flowers and trees – this is the best way to learn how to draw or paint them. Art is a great opportunity for children to learn how to express themselves in a non-verbal manner.
Encouraging children to write about the sights and sounds they encounter whilst outdoors is another benefit to outdoor learning. Children are invigorated by a change of scenery so where possible, outdoor learning should always be a part of the curriculum. This pre-prep school in London believes that all children have a natural curiosity about the world around them and as such, their pupils are encouraged to explore as much as possible. This of course means that children are engaged, excited about learning, and as involved in the natural world as all children need to be.
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