Taking it outside – clever outdoor classrooms to support sustainability, learning and health

Taking it outside – clever outdoor classrooms to support sustainability, learning and health

A tangible commitment to sustainability and nature is becoming a core objective of so many international schools. So, how can outdoor learning help – and how can how can you easily weave it into everyday curriculum?

Nature play and outdoor learning is becoming more popular in schools around the world. Research shows that a high percentage of parents now consider them an essential ingredient in the daily lives of their children.

In fact, a growing body of research shows that learning and playing outdoors can improve cognitive function, reduce student (and teacher) stress, and lower the symptoms of attention-deficit disorder while improving results, creativity and social skills. Importantly, it can also foster a lifelong appreciation of the natural world.

A recent global survey and research report, From muddy hands and dirty faces...to higher grades and happy places (Cath Prisk and Dr Harry Cusworth, 2018), showed that 88% teachers surveyed said children are more engaged in learning when taking lessons outdoors.

In addition, it found that getting outdoors:

  • connects us to the places we live and the environments we will want to protect – as environmental stewardship and connection with place is strongly related to the amount of time we are immersed in nature as children
  • improves concentration, eyesight and ability to learn
  • results in better learning outcomes across the board
  • creates healthier, more active children
  • boosts mental health.

As the report highlighted, international schools and all educational facilities have a central role as influencers: ”making outdoor learning and play part of every child’s life.” In addition, outdoor classrooms now have a practical benefit: becoming a smart way to support social distancing while learning in a pandemic-ravaged world.

At Playground Centre, the proven benefits of outdoor learning have inspired us to develop a range of clever and affordable outdoor classroom designs. Featuring extremely durable and versatile equipment and furniture, they have been designed to deliver specific cognitive, physical and social development benefits.

Our flexible and eco-friendly outdoor classrooms are perfectly suited to both structured and unstructured learning activities across the curriculum – from science and the environment to maths, arts, music and PE.

If you want to make it easier to incorporate outdoor classrooms in your international school grounds, we’d love to talk with you or provide a free quote today.

For some great outdoor learning activities and lesson ideas, visit the Outdoor Classroom Day website.