We believe that there is no “one size fits all” approach to Outdoor Classroom Day – and that’s why we love it. It is accessible to all. It shows that outdoor learning and play can be available to EVERY child on EVERY day. So we want to share the outdoor classroom stories of those inspiring people who recognise the importance of getting outside and nurturing through nature.
First up… Jordan Havell.
Jordan Havell is a confident and accomplished 16 year old.
For the last 10 years, he has been educated by his mum, Lianne, at their home in Sutton on Sea, on the Lincolnshire coast.
There is no national curriculum, no SATs tests and no GCSEs. Simply a much more vocational approach to learning, built around Jordan’s passion for photography, marine wildlife, horticulture and archaeology.
Consequently, as much as 65% of their time is spent outdoors. They carry out lessons everywhere from their local beach to nearby parks and nature reserves. As a result, their outdoor approach to learning has seen Jordan receive an impressive 60 national prizes in the past five years, including:
• Animal Hero Award for his stranded mammal poster campaign
• A silver gilt followed by a gold for both growing and designing for Miracle-Gro at the Chelsea Flower Show
• An English Heritage commendation for his Wreck of the Week blogs for Historic England.
He has been invited to 10 Downing Street to discuss environmental issues with Theresa May’s special advisor, Sir John Randall, and was named Lincolnshire Young Citizen of the Year in 2017.
Jordan started school at his local primary but by Year 1 his high IQ had led to him being bullied and teachers admitting that they could not cope. Making the decision to home school, Lianne converted a bedroom for teaching but they quickly discovered that outdoor learning was much more interesting and enjoyable.
It is incorporated into their everyday life. They cover a broad range of subjects by experiencing them rather than reading entries in textbooks. Creative writing is inspired by shipwrecks. Science is prompted by the discovery of shark eggs on the beach and being a trained mammal medic.
“The coast is a wonderful outdoor classroom,” explained Lianne.
“It’s a great place to be all year round due to the changing seasons, weather and tides. It also enables my son to explore his future career interests rather than learning facts he will never use again.”
“It’s much better for Jordan to be out in the fresh air. It improves his concentration and enables us to expand on the subjects he is interested in. This often carries on beyond the end of the normal school day. The bottom line is that he is happy, being outdoors has taken the stress out of learning.”
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