This summer, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect and, each day, 70,000 young people and 20,000 adults are currently estimated to not be benefitting from outdoor learning experiences (Sector Impact Report).
Across the UK, children have been missing out on formative experiences with their classmates developing resilience, self-motivation and hope alongside their curriculum needs.
As the UK moves towards recovery, Institute for Outdoor Learning members are ready to share experience and resources to create a future where outdoor citizens of all ages have a lifelong engagement with the outdoors for learning, mental and physical health, wellbeing and nature connection.
The sector has a wealth of experience and resources, including talented instructors, coaches and trainers (who know their local outdoor environment well) who can support a return to school with social distancing and provision of outdoor exercise.
- Give advice to SLT and governors on taking learning outside safely using your available space.
- Provide resources and support lesson planning to enable your staff to run outdoor learning in your school grounds.
- Deliver specialist outdoor learning sessions for your pupils (e.g. team building, archery, orienteering, forest school, bushcraft, etc.).
Medium Term Support
Building on existing and new partnerships, outdoor learning professionals and businesses can assist schools to capitalise on Government support for the outdoors as well as offer use of facilities often with extensive grounds.
- Deliver outdoor learning sessions and programmes in new venues and new ways using the accessible grounds, parks and footpaths close to your school.
- Provide training to upskill and enable teachers to be more effective contributors to outdoor learning in schools where there is already an option/opportunity.
Longer Term Support
Working together, schools and the outdoor learning sector can create a future where the outdoors is a widely used teaching environment across the curriculum, and outdoor citizens of all ages have a lifelong engagement with the outdoors for mental and physical health, wellbeing and nature connection.
- Assist the SLT and governors to take a whole school approach and support their staff to utilise outdoor learning across the curriculum.
- Increase outdoor learning capacity in the school sector by developing and providing solutions as part of Initial Teacher Training, INSET, and National Professional Qualifications.
- Support changes to how outdoor learning is valued at a policy level that would lead to increased use of outdoor learning in all schools.
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