How nature and wildlife can help boost classroom performance
A new study has revealed the benefits of outdoor learning on a child’s academic performance. Our Headteacher, Jo Webster, explains why including outdoor activities in the school curriculum is important for a child’s learning and development.
According to a recent government survey (between 2013 and 2015) only 8% of children in England took part in school visits to the natural environment in an average month.
This means that, sadly, many children are missing out on the opportunity to learn about the outside world from a young age; something that, I believe, should be an integral part of every child’s pre-school and primary education.
In today’s society, we are surrounded by all things digital. Teaching our children about the natural environment and relevant issues such as recycling, saving water and global warming is incredibly important. The earlier they learn, the more aware they are about the world around them and this makes them more likely to make informed decisions later in their lives.
Research by King’s College in London revealed that children perform better in academic studies if they are able to learn in natural environments.
One of our school values is ‘curiosity’ and we work hard to create a stimulating and inspiring environment which allows our pupils to flourish; from growing fruit and vegetables, to going on sensory walks, from den-building and mini beast hunts on the field, to climbing trees – it all happens at Pilgrims!
We are also very fortunate to have our own pond and wildlife area where children can learn about plant life and pond creatures, using their research to develop their science and literacy skills. Children have been watching as the pond has filled up with frog spawn, the blue tits have returned and we hope to have some exciting video footage via our bird-box camera.
At Pilgrims we are also proud to be a Forest School. The forest school approach uses the natural environment and outdoor facilities to offer children an alternative approach to learning. The curriculum is divided between indoor and outdoor learning and is designed to encourage imagination and creativity.
As the late spring/summer months approach, we will be taking our learning outside – who knows what we will discover!