Outdoor learning – a great way to help “Corona” back to school?
Scotland’s local authorities are looking to increase outdoor learning as a template to help social distancing when schools go back. It seems, weather permitting, a sound idea.
Cameron Sprague is a senior team leader at Stramash Nursery in Fort William. He said: “It’s always been the case that infection control is easier outdoors. We never have the situation where one kid gets chicken pox then a third of the school is off.
Outside space allows for social distancing to happen more naturally. The weather has been on our side, so the children can play freely outside. We have rolling snacks and lunches to avoid them clustering together, and handwashing every hour.
This might be the way that outdoor learning gets pushed forward, but it’s about so much more than infection control. Teachers do need support to do this. There are not many things you can’t teach outdoors, you just have to think creatively.”
Educators and policymakers across the political spectrum are increasingly convinced by the growing heft of evidence about the exponentially positive impact of learning outdoors.
In Scotland outdoor learning was also attractive because two years ago, a study of 38 nations ranked it joint last for physical activity and its childhood obesity levels continue to rise – something mirrored in most developed countries.
Research tells us that outdoor learning improves learning and attainment, health and wellbeing, cognitive and social development and physical activity levels…win-win!
The Institute for Outdoor Learning is a great place to go to get some resources that will give you some valuable insights - https://www.outdoor-learning.org/
We feel this all has a very strong alignment with what we’re trying to achieve in the classroom with our EIGER Student standing desks. Having a flexible learning environment stimulates children and it’s quite unbelievable how a simple option to stand improves focus and concentration and lesson outcomes.
It’s based on how the human body operates, add movement and it stimulates more oxygen, glucose and vitally dopamine all which make us feel good and focus better…the exact opposite of sitting!