Learning and development for children happens in a multitude of different environments, not just in the classroom. This is especially true when they are younger, which is why the Early Years curriculum insists on some form of outdoor learning for pupils. Younger children tend to absorb information a lot more easily when they engage all of their senses. I have teamed up with a junior school in Surrey to explore the benefits of outdoor education further.
Unfortunately, lots of children don’t have access to a safe outdoor space that is substantial enough for them to play and run around freely. That’s why it’s so important for schools to provide this opportunity for them. In doing so, children are able to get some much-needed exercise and fresh air, which has many physical benefits, but also helps them to de-stress.
When we hear the birds whistling and feel the wind through our hair, our bodies release serotonin, which improves our mood. When children are in a better mood, they become better learners.
Getting out in the real world, whether its just experiments on the field or actual trips away from school, gives teachers the opportunity to reinforce what the children have been learning about in their lessons. It encourages young people to be inquisitive and shows them that not all learning happens indoors; knowledge can be found everywhere if one only chooses to look for it.
Exploring the great outdoors allows children to develop a newfound respect for the environment. It’s important for them to understand how trees and plants help us breathe and therefore how we can protect them. Essentially, helping children to understand the world around them, outside of the four walls of the classroom, encourages them to grow up as knowledgeable and respectable members of society.