How could we help you take kids outside every day?
Did you take part in Outdoor Classroom Day last week? Over 1 million children did - and it's a great day for all kids whatever the weather. The team behind Outdoor Classroom Day are committed to making it bigger every year, which got us thinking. What really would make a difference to make learning outside the classroom easier for schools and communities - and easier to do more often, too.
We know how hard it is just to get outside as busy people, as busy parents - and that's just on our days off! What could we do that would help communities to encourage and support their schools to take learning outside more regularly.
Is it a lack of awareness?
We see really engaged, passionate people through The Wild Network, so it's important that we look more widely and ask do people really know the benefits of time spent outside? Are we getting the right information to teachers and schools about the benefits? The four-year Natural Connections Demonstration Project has lots of stats and genuinely impressive results from schools in the programme. Could they take that back out to teachers? Or should parents get more access to it?
Breaking down the myths
Teachers are busy, we know this. The last thing they need is more time planning new activities and adventures for their classes. We wonder if the idea of Outdoor Classroom Day is a little overwhelming for some? Would it be worth reminding schools that just taking an existing lesson plan outside can do the trick. Zip wires and live animals aren't required!
Is it tools & resources?
There's so much out there... is there too much? Perhaps you'd like to buy a kit for your school, or even have someone come and give a talk to your PTA? Is it paperwork overkill - and perhaps there could be a change to school policy that allows streamlined form-filling?
Just no time?
Is it too much pressure do try and fit something else into the school day? Could a new initiative work? What about trying a Free Time Friday? No school clubs and no after school activities on a Friday, just play. Perhaps parents could sign a disclaimer to have the yard extended for 20 mins or so without staff supervision? Or what about this one... No homework over the weekends? We'd love to see a school try it.
What would it take to do it again tomorrow?
What would it take to get your kids outside more often to learn? Would it be once a month, would it be once a week, could you do more often? Every day? We'd love to know what help we could give, along with the Outdoor Classroom Day team, to help the kids you know get outside more often.
Good ideas & great photos?
If you've got this nailed, please share your success with us and let us know how you manage it. We'd love to talk to you about it and find out if we can harness your success to inspire others!
Whatever your feedback, ideas, thoughts, hopes and dreams(!) drop us a line at The Wild Network. Thank you for your ideas & your passion.