Education doesn’t just happen within four walls. And the advantages of learning outdoors are well documented. Indeed, there is now a whole body of evidence highlighting its far-reaching, holistic impact on child development. Among these are the obvious boosts such as the physical benefits of movement and others which may spring less readily to mind, including reduced stress and other mental-heath benefits.
Equally, childrens’ relationship with nature deepens – one four-year survey from Natural England found that the overwhelming majority (94%) of teachers questioned said that outdoor learning led to a better understanding of nature.
At the same time, there is great scope for inclusive outdoor activities for children with special educational needs (SEN).
Of course, an indoor classroom offers security, defined boundaries, a consistent climate and ease of access to facilities. So taking classes outside is not without risk, and it does need additional thought and preparation, while entailing a degree of unpredictability.
The benefits of outdoor learning
However, the benefits and additional learning – including increased motivation, tenacity and encouragement to persist in what can be an unfamiliar environment, invariably outweigh the potential challenges. Pupils are also urged to learn independently through exploration of their surroundings. What’s more, open-air learning is cost-effective, and it’s something that can be applied across all areas of the school curriculum.
The first step could well be to have an easily accessible outside space with a purpose-built structure which will encourage your students and staff to work under the sky as often as you can. This helps to ensure that everyone gains the maximum benefit.
Outdoor learning pods from Kensington Systems
We’ve been fitting structures including outdoor learning pods in schools for more than three decades.
Our smart-looking classroom pods provide a sheltered learning area in which children can discover the world in an environment that’s both inspiring and comfortable, serving as a fully functioning outdoor classroom. These products are designed to involve little maintenance and be very customisable to your needs and space, and so that you have a size of structure that best suits you.
We use high-quality, durable materials like aluminium, plus low-maintenance timbers such as redwood, larch and cedar – so our pods are designed to last. They typically comprise a sturdy roof, supporting columns and seating. What’s more, we’ll include all groundworks in the price we quote you.
Use one of our pods to foster collaboration and teamwork among your students, through small-group working. These versatile shelters can also be used as quiet spots, for private reading, or as a sensory space.
Alternatives to outdoor learning pods
Alternatively, an aluminium or timber canopy can provide a larger sheltered area, or a shade sail is a colourful focal point in the playground. All of these are ideal for creating a comfortable outdoor learning space. Your choice will depend on the type of environment you want to create and other factors like space and funding.
Ask us for a free, no-obligation site visit today.