Outdoor learning: the secret to improving behaviour in schools

2nd June 2016

Building gardens, collecting recycling or sowing seeds can help empower pupils and works wonders as a discipline aid

 

“When the children are outside, they’re motivated,” says Karen Brownrigg, outdoor learning co-ordinator at Percy Main primary school in Tyne and Wear. “They’re inspired and they want to learn.”

After many years of continual development, the school grounds have become just as valid a learning area as inside the classroom – fruit trees have been planted, flower and veg plots tended, bug hotels built and a forest school garden established. “The children have daily interaction with nature now, and have learned to care and achieve in different ways. The antisocial behaviour we used to see is now gone,” says Brownrigg.

There’s a wide body of evidence to show that the more time children get to spend outdoors at school, the more positive their behaviour. A 2008 report by Reading University and WWF-UK, set out to explore what effect learning about sustainability had on schoolchildren. It showed that it had far more benefits to the children and school than just the education alone.

Children felt empowered by newly-formed school eco councils and enjoyed making decisions about what activities to take part in, be it building gardens, collecting recycling or sowing seeds. They liked the “break” in normal school routines by being outside, and teachers found concentration levels back in the classroom were improved. They worked better together, and when they did well on a project, felt good about it when it was praised by teachers and peers.

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Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!

Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!