The Press and The Journal from UK posted a recent article about outdoor education. It develops how experts affirm that this type of learning can be a powerful tool regarding development for children. Colin Masterson, headteacher of Achiltibuie and Lochinver primary schools, says that outdoor learning can help children to understand and develop a skill set that will prepare them for the interactions in a real life context.
“Achiltibuie and Lochinver are nestled on the remote north west coast of the Highlands. Achiltibuie is surrounded by moorland and close to the seaside, while Lochinver has Loch Culag on three sides and two community woodlands across the road. These are rural communities in spectacular locations so it makes sense to use the natural resources around”.
Some interesting results were developed by these primary schools after integrating a outdoor learning program:
Outdoor learning is still learning: Schools partner with organizations (Coigach and Assynt Living) to offer to children weekly forest classes. This definitely inspired kids to be more aware and conscious of climate change, their surroundings and interaction with nature.
Community Links: Kids can understand their place in the world and the impact of their actions on their environment. “When pupils learned that their grandparents used to play football in a certain park, it enhanced their connection to the space. In the midst of climate change and environmental crisis, we need young people to connect to their environment and want to look after it”.
Equity: Sedentary classroom experiences can present a barrier for learning. Outdoor learning can allow kids to take on different roles in their social group and community. “Colin Masterson has witnessed that many of the kids who struggle to sit and learn indoors actually assume leadership roles when you take them outside”.
At MKThink we are also looking at how learning environments can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how those spaces are designed considering factors such as wellbeing and safety.