1 November is Outdoor Classroom Day, a global campaign to inspire and celebrate outdoor learning and play. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outside and prioritise playtime. As well as having fun, they will show how important and easy it is to give children more time outdoors. (This date applies in the whole of the UK and Ireland, and there will be a second opportunity to take part on 23 May 2019.)
When teachers take learning outdoors they report some powerful impacts: children’s behaviour improves; whole classes are excited to learn; and individuals who feel inhibited by the curriculum often thrive in an outdoor environment.
When adults think back to their own happiest memories of childhood, they frequently recall the joy of playing outdoors. Play is not only central to children’s enjoyment of childhood, but teaches critical life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.
Countryside Classroom has scores of resources specifically tailored to teaching about food, farming and the natural environment outdoors. If you need more ideas and inspiration, or help making the case for outdoor learning, try the Outdoor Classroom Day website. www.outdoorclassroomday.org.uk
The global Outdoor Classroom Day is led by Project Dirt, in partnership with Unilever as part of their Dirt is Good movement. In the UK and Ireland, Learning through Landscapes is working with Persil to deliver the campaign.