Increased contact with nature improves the way children learn, both formally and informally. Outdoor learning gives them direct experience of the subject, making it more interesting and enhancing their understanding.
The evidence for improvement, which child psychologist Aric Sigman calls the ‘countryside effect’, is considerable. He found that children exposed to nature scored higher on concentration and self-discipline; improved their awareness, reasoning and observational skills; did better in reading, writing, maths, science and social studies; were better at working in teams; and showed improved behaviour overall.
But children don’t simply learn more, or learn better, when freed from their desks. They also learn differently, experiencing improvements in four specific ways:
- Cognitive Impacts (greater knowledge and understanding)
- Affective Impacts (attitudes, values, beliefs and self-perceptions)
- Interpersonal and Social Impacts (communication skills, leadership and teamwork)
- Physical and Behavioural Impacts (fitness, personal behaviours and social actions.
Our Eco classrooms with large windows allowing plenty of natural light help schools all over the country to get a closer view of nature. However, in some situations we have found that schools don’t need a fully functioning classroom but they do need a shelter or canopy to help them in their outdoor learning pursuits.
Whatever your outdoor learning needs we can design an outdoor classroom to help. Contact us to find out more.
Some useful resources
Learning through landscapes
UK schools grounds charity helping schools make the most of their outdoor spaces
Institute for Outdoor Learning
Encourages outdoor learning by developing quality, safety and opportunity to experience outdoor activity provision and by supporting and enhancing the good practice of those who work in the outdoors
Carlton Outdoor Education Centre
An Outdoor Education Centre, offering a high standard of accommodation and facilities in an idyllic location on the northern edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. We provide a broad range of Outdoor Education and Adventure programmes to school groups and the wider community.
We are a leading provider of residential visits for schools, colleges and universities since 1924 We have developed long term partnerships with many educational establishments and we are seeking further forward thinking schools who truly value the benefits of out of classroom learning.
High Adventure Outdoor Education Centre: Outdoor Education at its best - Challenge, Inspire, Motivate