learning outside the classroom

Learning in the great outdoors, we know, is a great benefit to children – but it is sometimes easier said than done. Creating that outdoor space which provides both freedom to play and opportunities to learn can be a tricky task. The space needs to feel natural yet flow, give children options to choose what they do and still provide that element of awe, wonder and risk – that’s no mean feat. 

Playing outside and discovering the world of nature is part of growing up, or is it enter the Play More campaign? Do children still push aside logs to see what’s crawling underneath? Are daisy chains part of playground life or some relic from the past? 

Children are spending more time indoors than outside and they are missing out on exploring the natural world around them. In fact, research found that 1 in 9 British children have not visited a beach, park or forest in twelve months, and on average, a British child only spends 4 hours a week playing in the great outdoors. 

Greg Brookes-Clayton is the Educational Director at Challenge Academy – a Community Interest Company (CIC) set up and directed by experienced professionals and leaders from education and the military. Challenge Academy offer active outdoor learning experiences. Its aims are to provide innovative and accessible learning opportunities outside the classroom.