Background and Research
There are many benefits to learning and playing outdoors. In our experience, children and adults feel more relaxed, enjoy exploring and learning together and make new friends. Children become more confident and independent and feel happy to learn at their own pace. Hands on, practical learning is the best way to embed learning and new skills and is especially enhanced in woodlands and natural environments. Lots of our children and adults build stronger relationships and find out about how they learn best. In addition, children and adults develop an appreciation of the outdoors and enjoy looking after their school grounds and local environment, which has benefits for all.
Branching Out Learning Tots, Family and School sessions provide activities, ideas and scaffolding to support and encourage children in their outdoor environment. We encourage everyone to have fun, be active and enjoy learning in a new way!
Wild Adventure Space (UK)
Literature Review by Penny Travlou, OPENspace Research Centre (2006)
"Experience of the outdoors and wilderness has the potential to confer a multitude of benefits on young people’s physical development, emotional and mental health and well being and societal development. Mental health and wellbeing benefits from play in natural settings appear to be long-term, realised in the form of emotional stability in young adulthood."
The Natural Connections Project was conducted over four years and was commissioned by Natural England.
"For the first time, the Natural Connections project provides strong evidence that learning outdoors has multiple benefits for school children. 92 per cent of teachers surveyed said that pupils were more engaged with learning when outdoors and 85 ...per cent saw a positive impact on their behaviour.
The majority of children also thought they learned better and achieved more when learning outside. 92 per cent of pupils involved in the project said they enjoyed their lessons more when outdoors, with 90 per cent feeling happier and healthier as a result.
The project has found taking lessons outside can help motivate teachers, with 79 per cent of teachers reporting positive impacts on their teaching practice. Almost 70 per cent of teachers said that outdoor learning has had a positive impact on their job satisfaction and 72 per cent reported improved health and wellbeing."
“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognised or not, and however covered by cares and duties”