Take Learning Outdoors & Prepare For The Next Outdoor Classroom Day!

Letters and shapes in playground flooring

This year’s Outdoor Classroom Day proved to be more popular than ever with many schools using the initiative to “test the water” when it comes to outdoor learning.

Originally founded in 2012 by Anna Portch. Outdoor Classroom Day was originally known as “Empty Classroom Day” with only a few schools in London taking part, but in only 3 short years over 600 schools in 15 different countries were getting involved and joining in the fun.

Is Outdoor Learning Worth The Effort?

When it comes to taking lessons outdoors and managing a large group of children within an open space, many teachers wonder if learning outside the classroom is worth the effort. A common question teachers ask is “will just act as a distraction for children? Will they actually internalise the lesson?”

However, outdoor learning is known to bring a range of benefits to children such as improving their social skills and ability to work in a team – along with enhancing their problem-solving skills and encouraging them to be more physically active.

Recent studies also suggest that spending time outdoors and being less sedentary can also be good for children’s emotional and mental health. A study from 2014 suggested that outdoor learning can improve children’s emotional and behavioural resilience.

How To Take Learning Outdoors

Whether a school is ready to commit to outdoor learning or would like to use Outdoor Classroom Day as an annual event, efforts can be hampered by the unpredictable weather here in the UK. Fields can become muddy and playgrounds slippery which can add risk to even the most carefully planned lessons.

This could explain why more and more schools are opting to invest in safety surfacing for their playgrounds. Wet pour, in particular, can be a great resource for outdoor learning as teaching aids such as letters, numbers or puzzles can be included within the surfacing.

Puzzles can such as these can be installed into the surfacing to build upon problem-solving skills and encourage teamwork. Meanwhile, timeless designs such as letters and numbers can be used by multiple classes over the years and repurposed for different lessons.

Alternatively, creating coloured “zones” can be a great way forward, as not only can these be used for outdoor learning they can also be used during PE lessons and as part of imaginative/role play during breaks.

Playground flooring at school
Maze Design In School Playground
Black with light wet pour surfacing
Four square playground game marking
alphabet within school playground flooring

If you would like more ideas for how to take learning outdoors or think you could benefit from a free site survey, contact our team today!