Believe in the power of outdoor learning and play? Sign up to Outdoor Classroom Day!

23rd March 2017

“We are living in an age of unprecedented uncertainty and change. Nobody has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time. And yet we’re educating children for it”, says Sir Ken Robinson. What can we do?

How about sign up to Outdoor Classroom Day UK & Ireland, a global campaign to celebrate and inspire learning and play outside the classroom?

Sign up to Outdoor Classroom Day

Learning outdoors is not new, but in 2017 we have more evidence than ever before that shows the powerful impact it has on students and teachers. Natural England, a UK based NGO, recently showed that 92 per cent of teachers involved in their four year trial said that having lessons outdoors improved pupils engagement with learning, and 94 per cent said it also improved their health and wellbeing.*

Most of the teachers involved also said that outdoor learning made them feel happier about their own teaching experience too!

Children’s outdoor play can be even more powerful. 96% of parents surveyed last year** agree that play enables children to become well-rounded adults. But play is so much more than a place where children learn skills for tomorrow. It is who they are TODAY!

As they play, children rearrange their worlds to make them either less scary or less boring (Sutton-Smith 1999, in Lester & Russell 2010)

In their play children build imaginary worlds that they can control, where they can triumph over disaster. They can make up new games and test out ways of behaving and ideas. They are physically active and emotionally engaged. They are having fun. This behaviour is important. It is how they build up a repertoire of flexible responses to situations they create and encounter. And that’s how they build confidence, resilience, teamwork and emotional intelligence.*** It’s how they learn who they are and who they might become. Its also how they are happiest.

Headteacher’s that introduce policies that frame great quality play see reductions in accidents, bullying and absenteeism. They see children ready to learn as they jump back into class.

Back in 2011, Anna Portch, working with the London Environmental Educators Forum, was inspired by Tim Gill’s Sowing the Seeds report  to develop the original campaign. In 2012 a handful of London schools got involved. From there, it has grown into an international movement — in 2016 almost half a million children across over 50 countries got outdoors to play and learn as part of their school day.

Why not try something new?

If you’re new to outdoor learning or your school doesn’t yet have a whole school play policy, why not use the day to have a go? Or if it’s part of your normal week, why not use the day to celebrate what you’re doing already and encourage other schools in your area to join in? An easy way to double your own impact…

Whatever you decide to do, get started on your Outdoor Classroom Day adventure on 18 May and be prepared to be amazed!

Join the movement today by signing up your class — or whole school — at www.outdoorclassroomday.com

 Outdoor Classroom Day is coordinated globally by Project Dirt, and led in specific countries by local NGOs. It is backed by Unilever’s Dirt is Good brands around the world.

*http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/6636651036540928

**Source: Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016.

***http://www.academia.edu/415484/Lester_S._and_Russell_W._2010_Childrens_right_to_play_An_examination_of_the_importance_of_play_in_the_lives_of_children_worldwide_The_Hague_Bernard_van_Leer_Foundation

 

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Find this article interesting? Share on social media to get friends and colleagues involved!

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, but in the meantime why not print out this poster and take it to a teacher you know…?

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!

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

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, but in the meantime why not print out this poster and take it to a teacher you know…?

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!