We have been working with a number of leisure and tourism attractions and supporting them in understanding how annual school events can boost visitor numbers. Today is Outdoor Classroom Day; read on to find out how you can use this event to encourage school trips to your setting.
Take a moment and consider the last time you saw a child excited and enthused by what they were doing, smiling and laughing and eager to explore. Were they sat in a classroom struggling to understand a new concept in maths or science while looking longingly out the window; was it at playtime while exploring with their friends; or on their last school trip where they were free to explore their learning outside of the classroom?
Combining the energy and enthusiasm shown by children when they are enjoying the outdoors and teaching concepts using real life exploration is the key to outdoor learning. Taking learning outside the classroom is not a new idea but more evidence is being gathered each year showing the powerful effect it has on children of all ages and teachers.
Last year, Government organisation, Natural England, published findings from its Natural Connections Demonstration Project — showing that:
- 95% of teachers say taking lessons outdoors make them more enjoyable
- 90% of pupils who go outdoors to learn feel happier and healthier
- 96% of parents say play enables children to become well-rounded adults
Now, if you’ve ever taught children outside and seen their eyes light up at new experiences; if you have ever observed them making sense of a new concept when learning outside, you won’t need the above statistics – you’ll have experienced the benefits.
Back in 2011, Anna Portch developed the original Outdoor Classroom campaign. From a few London schools being involved in 2012, it has grown into a global movement — in 2016 almost half a million children across over 50 countries got outdoors to play and learn as part of their school day.
Thursday 12th October is global outdoor classroom day. This is a day to celebrate outdoor learning and play; to inspire schools everywhere to make outdoor learning and play part of the every day. Even if you haven’t signed up for this year, use the day as a reason to get outdoors with your class, enjoy the benefits and sign up for next year. Go to www.outdoorclassroomday.org.uk. for more information.
This is a fantastic opportunity for leisure and tourism businesses to receive more school visits. Here are some ways you can use this event to encourage educational trips:
- Collaborate with schools to create a special Outdoor Classroom Day event at your setting that they will attend.
- Remind teachers that you have Outdoor Classroom Day opportunities for pupils already at your setting.
- Use the statistics to encourage schools to sign up to the day and come to you for an exciting day of outside learning.
- Encourage teachers by reminding them that you are taking the pressure of them by doing all the planning and resource creating – they only need to turn up!
- Contact the Outdoor Classroom Day team to gain ideas and support.
If you would like more information about gaining more school visits to your setting contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be more than happy to talk to you.