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Schools see the benefits of outdoor learning

An increasing number of schools are incorporating outdoor learning into their curriculum in an attempt to allow children to make the most of their school days.

This approach is growing in popularity and is widely believed to have a beneficial impact on youngsters. American company Hatch, which produces technology and classroom supplies, has stressed the importance of teaching in the open air.

Ginny Norton, Hatch president, commented: “Outdoor classrooms present unlimited opportunities to create sensory-rich learning experiences for children with special needs.”

The company pointed to the experiences of special education teachers in Canada and the US, who have found outdoor learning helps develop communication in nonverbal youngsters and children who suffer from autism.

Its not only in the US where schools are embracing this new approach to teaching though, as its increasingly common here in the UK as well.

Last month, a school in the West Midlands town of Oldbury was praised by Ofsted for its “inspirational” outdoor lessons, Halesowen News reports.

The Meadows Sport College has developed a number of outdoor classrooms over the past few years and they have been described by the education watchdog as “spectacular”.

“Students gaze with amazement at the water features and colourful bushes; their curiosity is aroused by a fascinating range of sounds as they learn in the school’s beautiful sensory gardens,” the Ofsted inspection stated.

Abbots Langley Primary School in Hertfordshire has also embraced the benefits of outdoor learning.

According to the Watford Observer, a garden has been created at the school to encourage children to understand the importance of health eating and develop an interest in the natural world.

Jane Sibbot of the school’s gardening team stated: “We wanted something visual and hands on. It’s nice that the children can see where our food comes from.”

To create the best outdoor learning environment possible many schools are opting to install shade sails to provide shelter from the elements. If you think your school could benefit from a shade, click here to find out more.

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