Outdoor classrooms are changing the learning landscape

Outdoor classrooms are fast becoming a must for schools that want to provide children with a rich educational experience that’s filled with fun, exciting and diverse learning opportunities beyond the classroom walls.

Inspired by the growing body of research that proves outdoor learning has a positive impact on children’s development and wellbeing, Urban Effects has partnered with Playground Centre to expand our offering to include outdoor classrooms.

The vision? To make it easy and affordable for schools to incorporate outdoor classrooms into their grounds, and support educators to integrate outdoor lessons into the curriculum.

Outdoor classrooms: the benefits

We know fresh air and a touch of sunshine can help improve children’s concentration and focus. However, the latest research into outdoor classrooms reveals children who regularly take part in outdoor learning activities show:

  • More engagement with learning
  • Improved academic performance
  • Stronger language and problem-solving skills
  • Enhanced teamwork
  • Better social skills
  • Higher self-esteem
  • More resilience
  • Happiness!

(Source: Muddy hands and dirty faces … to higher grades and happy places: Outdoor learning and play at schools around the world, Cath Prisk and Dr Harry Cusworth, November 2018)

In fact, 88% teachers surveyed in the global Outdoor Classroom Day 2017/18 Survey said children are more engaged in learning when taking lessons outdoors! Children’s behaviour improves, whole classes are excited to learn, and individuals who feel inhibited by a classroom-based curriculum thrive in an outdoor environment.

Bright ideas for outdoor classrooms

Multi-purpose, zoned spaces, our outdoor classroom concepts are designed to facilitate both structured and unstructured learning activities across the curriculum – from science and environmental studies to Maths, Arts, Music and PE.

  • Each concept puts an emphasis on creating a connection with the natural environment through landscaping which incorporates gardens and shade-giving trees.
  • Low-profile seating and/or tables allow students to learn together as a group or participate in individual or small group activities.
  • Innovative e-classroom technology has been adapted for the outdoors.
  • Musical instruments provide sensory stimulation, gross and fine motor skills development.
  • Inclusive, confidence and problem-solving enhancing play and game-based learning equipment is included from sand play, table tennis tables to climbing walls and nets.
  • All designs are wheelchair accessible and all inclusive.

Each outdoor classroom concept can be adapted to suit different spaces, learning needs, curriculums, and budgets. Download the Outdoor Classroom Pack or get in touch with us today to talk about a solution for your school.

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