We have long understood that well-designed outdoor play areas are vital. The few hours children spend outdoors each week builds social and cognitive skills which help them to thrive. No matter the space available, our team knows how to create a place where children can grow.
Every type of playground feature needs to be designed right and built right. In our eyes, creating a unique playground that's bursting with opportunity includes the capability to do them all. That's why our playground range contains everything from Activity Frames through to educational numeracy & literacy play panels.
Learning outside the classroom opens the door to many valuable skills and qualities. Here we explore what they are and the impact they can have.
Learning inside the classroom is a tried and tested method of organising schooling. However, teachers and pupils have always valued the learning opportunities provided by a range of activities conducted outside the classroom.
Learning outside can help make subjects more vivid and interesting for pupils, enhance their understanding and reinforce lessons taught indoors. It can also contribute significantly to pupil’s personal, social and emotional development.
Outdoor Learning Areas in Schools
Integral approach to Outdoor Learning
Research conducted by Ofsted found that learning outside the classroom was most successful when it was ‘an integral element of long-term curriculum planning and closely linked to classroom activities’. For example, discussing a topic in the classroom, then carrying out a practical in the playground and following up with some research as homework is a simple way of using multiple mediums and environments to teach.
Learning outdoors is practical, motivating and refreshing. Making it an integral element will retain pupils attention, enabling them to learn in varied ways and by ‘seeing and doing, not just listening.’
Learning Outside the Classroom opens the door for Creative Thinking
Learning outside the classroom is a fantastic way of stimulating thought processes that otherwise may not initiate. For example, two young children exploring a nature play area discover a woodlouse under a stone. ‘Why does it live there?’ ‘The stone protects it.’ ‘It doesn’t want the sun’. ‘It’s hiding from it’s enemies’. Immediately an interest has been generated (which could be followed up with classroom research). Pupils can record their ideas and compare them with other’s responses. Through direct observation and experimentation, pupils can arrive at sound conclusions based on evidence. This is an important requirement of the National Curriculum programme of study for science.
Learning outside prepares for the future
Another finding in Ofsted’s research was that learning outdoors can make an important contribution to pupils’ future economic well-being and preparation for the next stage of their lives. Outdoor learning gives opportunities to work together towards shared aims, and to develop key skills such as leadership, teamwork and effective communication. These are valuable qualities that can be taken through into their working lives. Additionally, the development of them through learning outside the classroom can help to combat under-achievement and promote confidence and self-belief.
Create an outdoor learning space
Playcubed have been creating outdoor play and learning spaces in schools for over 40 years. From natural and sensory gardens, through to growing areas and outdoor classrooms, outdoor learning can be hugely enhanced with the correct provisions. So, if your school is looking to embrace learning outdoors, contact us today to discuss how we can create a space that really works for your needs.