Why You Need an Outdoor Classroom

An outdoor classroom can really bring learning to life. By connecting students and teachers directly with nature, you can encourage exploration and curiosity in a more informal setting. There is really no limit to how an outdoor classroom space can be used by the entire school community.

Why You Need an Outdoor Classroom

There are so many ways in which learning outdoors can benefit young people. From increasing learners’ retention rates and enhancing the learning experience, particularly for tactile and experiential learners, to the proven benefits for health and well-being of being in the great outdoors, an outdoor classroom will increase students’ understanding of sophisticated concepts and get them away from the classroom environment without having to plan a costly trip.

How to Succeed with an Outdoor Classroom

First, it’s important to budget realistically so the project is adequately resourced and will be of benefit when finished. If you create a beautiful gazebo-like structure that blends harmoniously into the surroundings, it’s less likely to be vandalised and more likely to be utilised. Involve students and teachers in the project and you’ll create a sense of ownership that will see the outdoor classroom being the most used facility in the school.

Getting the Design Right

Ideally, your outdoor classroom will be a simple and usable structure. It certainly doesn’t have to be elaborate to be functional. That’s why a large gazebo makes a great outdoor classroom – the structure is straightforward, with plenty of space and protection for everything from outdoor classes to a summer barbecue. Pupils will stay dry in a rainstorm and protected from harmful UV rays in summer while still escaping from the bricks and mortar of school for a completely unique learning experience.

Opening Hearts and Minds

Once you’ve got your outdoor classroom up and running, you’ll be giving pupils the opportunity to get involved with an active healthy lifestyle which can help to combat childhood obesity. Even more importantly, learning outdoors can open up traditionally stuffy subjects like history, science and maths – after all, what better way to learn about your ancestors than in a Tudor shelter? And group activities outdoors are a great way to develop stronger language and communication skills and encourage independent learning. The best thing is that all the skills pupils learn in the outdoor classroom impact on what they do when they return to the main building.

The Beauty of Permanence

Of course, an outdoor classroom can be as simple as taking a class outside, but providing a permanent structure like a gazebo can allow young people to investigate, experiment and explore in ways that encourage them to really respect and appreciate the environment. They’re also great places for social engagement, as they can be used for outdoor dining and socialising while also giving your school the opportunity to incorporate regular time outside into everyday learning, meaning teachers can plan their outdoor classroom time in advance. In fact, there are so many great reasons for having an outdoor classroom that we believe every school should have one.