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We’ve all at some point in our lives sat in a classroom, gazing longingly through the window, wishing we were outside. We’ve all envisaged taking our desks and chairs out on to the schoolyard and having our lessons out there. So why can’t we?
There is a common misconception that the school playgrounds, playing fields and schoolyards’ sole purpose is for recreation only, and that learning is done inside the classroom.
Teachers love taking their lessons outside wherever possible. In fact the main factor generally preventing teachers from taking their lessons outside is our gloriously unpredictable British weather! In spite of this lessons can still be planned for outside, with the help of a shelter.
With the rise in pupil intake and the distinct lack of space in the classroom many schools are building additional classrooms, which in turn is taking away some fundamental outdoor areas.
Outdoor spaces for play and learning are an integral part of a child’s development. So why not combine them?
By having a sheltered outdoor classroom area within the school grounds lessons can be taught outside… even when it rains!
Not only do outdoor classrooms provide shelter from the weather; they also provide a designated learning space. By having a defined “learning area” you can help to focus pupils’ attention, as well as providing a definitive separation between outdoor lesson time, and outdoor play time.
Outdoor lessons are not just about the fun. They also provide many benefits for pupils too. Ofstead’s 2008 report stated that children who learn in a new environment are allowed to see their lessons from a different perspective. This offers them brand new insights into understanding difficult concepts.
Any lesson involving storytelling, reading, or play acting can benefit from the natural surroundings, and our interesting themed classrooms.
These types of lessons allow children to share their thoughts, feelings and help to encourage communication. On top of this the added freedom of being outdoors can result in children coming out of their comfort zones and interacting with new people. Thus improving their social and communication skills.
You could create an interesting themed outdoor learning area with the Viking longboat! This classroom is ideal for storytelling in early years settings. Children can take inspiration from their surroundings and envision themselves aboard a Viking ship. Surrounded by crashing waves and hazardous sea monsters.
Head over to our playground division at Hand Made Places, for more inspiration on creating themed playgrounds.
As well as fun and imaginative spaces, our outdoor classrooms also exude practicality.
Broxap’s outdoor classrooms can be created as standalone space, or they can even be created to be an extension on an existing classroom, and made secure with panelling, doors, lighting etc.
With help from Broxap you can create the perfect outdoor learning experience.
Why not take a look at some the outdoor learning areas we have provided?