Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Set up in 2012 a handful of schools in London celebrated outdoor learning as part of a new campaign – Empty Classroom Day. Jump forward a few years in 2018 over 3.5 million children across the world took part in the Outdoor Classroom Day, with more than 550,000 of those being in the UK and Ireland.
Last Thursday saw 2019’s second Outdoor Classroom Day. This is celebrated by schools, teachers and organisations, like ourselves, getting outside and using the outdoors for education and learning.
We were lucky enough to have a primary school, 3 year groups from a college and a group of Field Studies A’level students staying with us – all of whom were taking part in the range of activities we offer. And Devon threw every bit of weather at them - rain, hail, wind and at times a small amount of sunshine.
Our primary school ventured to Hartland for a full day of coastal traversing and navigation. The college groups participate in both on and off-site activities including surfing, river kayak and high ropes course. And our Field Studies students spent the day at Farleigh Water on Exmoor and Lynmouth on their river studies day. With all the rain we have been experiencing recently the rivers were is full flow.
The Outdoor Classroom Day website states that outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature. It says play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood. And we couldn’t agree more. As adults when we look back to our own happy childhood memories they inevitably involve the outdoors and seeing the photos that were posted on the social media sites certainly brought back memories for me…..particularly seeing children jumping in puddles!
The next Outdoor Classroom Day has already been scheduled for Thursday 21st May 2020 and it’s not too early to sign up. Simply head to: https://outdoorclassroomday.org.uk/ and get your school on the map for 2020.