Anyone who has seen the impact that learning and playing outdoors has on children knows how powerful such experiences can be. Learning outdoors creates lasting memories, helps build a greater awareness of the environment, provides more opportunities to think independently, and gets children feeling challenged and excited by learning. Children are more active when they play outdoors; It is essential for their healthy development and enjoyment of childhood.
Building on the success of the 2016 campaign, our aim is to get as many children as possible learning and playing outside in 2017, first on Thursday 18 May. For some schools, this will be an opportunity to try learning outside the classroom for the first time. For outdoor learning pros, the day will be a celebration of what they are doing already and a chance to inspire other schools to get involved. For everyone, Outdoor Classroom Day will show how easy and amazing it is to spend time outdoors every day.
Sign up to be part of the Outdoor Classroom Day movement today!
Lessons learnt outdoors, whether maths, science or language, often stay with us for life. Being outdoors helps children focus, boosts creativity and imagination, and can simply be more fun.
Play is important too! Children who have the freedom to play today — making friends, getting lost in the moment, having fun — are better prepared for whatever tomorrow throws at them. Playing helps children build friendships, test their own boundaries and solve their own problems. It’s central to a child’s development and to their enjoyment of childhood.
If you want to dig a bit deeper and get even more inspired, check out the videos in this showreel…
In 2011 in the UK, Anna Portch founded the grassroots ‘Empty Classroom Day’ campaign, with the support of teachers and educators at London Sustainable Schools Forum (LSSF). The campaign aimed to encourage London schools to learn outside and to celebrate all the great environmental education taking place.
Growing from just a handful of schools in 2011, to over 600 in 2015, Empty Classroom Day inspired Unilever’s Persil team so much that they decided to back the campaign not only in the UK but across the world! Project Dirt, a social enterprise formed to support community-led projects and campaigns, is working with them by leading the global campaign, building international networks and developing resources to support teachers around the world. Other countries felt the name Outdoor Classroom Day better captured what they were celebrating: outdoor learning and play. And so, the global Outdoor Classroom Day movement was born. In 2016, almost half a million children took part across 51 countries.
In 2017, to strengthen the movement and make it truly global, the campaign partners and advisory board agreed to take Empty Classroom Day UK and Ireland forward under the Outdoor Classroom Day name. The name may have changed but the ethos remains the same — more children experiencing the benefits of playing and learning outdoors, on Outdoor Classroom day and all year round.
“ACADEMIC RESEARCH SHOWS THAT ACTIVE PLAY IS THE NATURAL AND PRIMARY WAY THAT CHILDREN LEARN.”
Sir Ken Robinson, leading expert in education, creativity and human development.
Help to spread the word about Outdoor Classroom Day! Share this page and get friends and colleagues on board.
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!
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!