Some schools struggle to accommodate a growing number of children which is why an outdoor classroom can be an ideal addition. A cost-effective solution, it also causes less disruption than building a traditional extension. An outdoor classroom has a multitude of uses for a range of classes, but can also be used as an area to socialise in during breaks as well as a space in which to eat lunch
Dedicated outdoor classrooms are suited to for hands-on lessons, from an explosive science experiment to a messy art project through to a geography lesson exploring the outdoors. Any lesson designed for open space can be adapted to work effectively outdoors. It can also provide new learning opportunities for children that have difficulty concentrating or engaging inside. An alternative, more stimulating, environment may be better suited to their needs.
It is all too easy for schools to become restricted by meeting targets in the curriculum, feeling under pressure to tick every box. Doing so risks compromising the mental, emotional and physical development of children. They can respond to stimulating and varied environments while learning or playing which is why an outdoor classroom is an attractive proposition. They provide respite from the confines of a traditional classroom setting, while at the same time exposing children to sunlight as a source of Vitamin D.
Research has shown that 8 out of 10 teachers don’t think there is enough outdoor learning and there should be more. When asked what they feel was to blame, one of the most popular responses was: ‘the weather’.
Outdoor classrooms, sheltered and practical spaces in which children can both learn and play while enjoying the fresh air, should be considered for the notable positive impact they have on children’s physical and mental wellbeing.