Outdoor learning boosts engagement

SNH OL reportTeachers who bring their pupils into the outdoors find it makes their learning more enjoyable, challenging, active and collaborative according to a report published this week by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The study shows that outdoor learning in school and pre-schools has increased since Curriculum for Excellence was introduced but that further increases could be made. The survey of nursery, primary and secondary schools looked at over 1000 outdoor lessons and compared results from surveys in 2006 and 2014.

Learning in green areas like parks, gardens, wildlife areas and woodland, as well as on residential outdoor trips, particularly increased children’s engagement and enriched the learning experience in many ways. Overall, the study found that there was an opportunity to make more use of local green places to give children time outdoors at little or no cost.

The report, written by the University of Stirling, was commissioned by partners Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Education Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority and Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Visit Education Scotland’s Outdoor Learning site for further support in taking learning outdoors.

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