Health Benefits of Outdoor Learning
Positive childhood health is seen as the foundation of a long life. Being able to offer outdoor learning as part of the curriculum will be appreciated by pupils and parents alike. By combining both indoor and outdoor learning styles in any location, more variety can be included within the learning plans for students. Continue reading to find out what health benefits outdoor learning would provide your students.
What Is Outdoor Learning?
When we use the term outdoor learning, we are referring to the planned and purposeful facilitation of studies outside. Additionally, the term also covers the unplanned learning that can occur, such as during play or free periods.
No matter the lesson or experience on offer, the health benefits remain the same.
What Health Benefits Can Be Experienced From Outdoor Learning?
As well as enhancing learning experiences and improving performance momentum, the great outdoors offers many health benefits to young children;
These include the following:
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Spending time outdoors is proven to be beneficial for young people’s wellbeing. Upsettingly, 1 in 6 children aged between 5-16 are likely to have mental health problems. This is not an easy issue to resolve, but integrating outdoor learning into the teaching schedule can offer some relief from the problem.
90% of students say they feel happier when learning outdoors. As well as improved happiness, the beautiful outdoors also reduces stress levels and improves concentration, thanks to the benefits of fresh air and calming sounds.
Students are also happier when they feel they are doing well in their studies. Working outdoors offers a change of scenery, bringing a new frame of mind. Being in a new place forces our brains to process new activities and unlock different ways of thinking. For pupils, this can directly correlate well being and being outdoors.
Being outdoors naturally means more movement. This has many benefits to physical health such as improved lung function, burning calories, and muscle strengthening. With children needing at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, introducing some active outdoor learning is a great addition to education schedules.
Vitamin D Levels
Even though we have our fair share of grey and gloomy days in the UK, a healthy dose of vitamin D is still available for those outdoors.
This is particularly important within children as it regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. For growing children, this means a solid overall development and a reduced risk of illnesses such as arthritis and bone deformities.
Vitamin D is also essential for maintaining a positive level of mental wellbeing, meaning that this benefit also ties into the wellbeing elements we have already covered.
By this, we mean vision and dexterity levels, which contribute to strong overall physical health. For younger pupils, being outdoors offers a different way to learn with the various sights and sounds, allowing an insight into the learning lacking in the classroom.
Whether you plan on interacting with the outdoors or simply teaching a lesson in a new space, being outside is enough to engage different senses that would otherwise be stagnant.
Outdoor engagement has been found to positively impact children’s language and communication styles. Interacting in new environments is a brilliant way of enhancing the requirements on pupils and encouraging them to look at new ways of communicating with each other.
This type of education is also said to boost confidence and motivation, which both have a positive impact on social skills.
How Is Outdoor Learning Facilitated?
It’s well known how unpredictable the great British weather can be. From scorching September’s to brisk June’s, we don’t always get the expected conditions.
To make this learning possible, the most common solutions are school canopies and outdoor learning pods. These weather-resistant covered spaces can be seamlessly blended into the school playground for an affordable price. Available in a range of materials, schools can select an option that makes better use of their space. From hardy aluminium designs to fun shade sails, there is an option for every school that wants to introduce outdoor learning to its curriculum.
Are You In Need Of An Outdoor Learning Space?
Healthy and happy pupils are at the core of a successful school environment. Learning is an important duty which is not essential for imparting wisdom but also for developing strength in different areas.
Our case studies show how many schools have already used this technique to enhance their pupil experience.
If you would like some help to optimise your existing outdoor learning space or create a new one, contact us today.