Boost your pupils' health this winter

As teachers in the UK, we are all well aware of the challenges of keeping our students engaged and motivated during the long winter months. The colder weather, shorter days, and lack of sunlight can all take their toll on both students and teachers alike, making it difficult to maintain a positive and productive learning environment.

One solution to this problem that is gaining popularity across the UK is outdoor learning. While many of us may think of outdoor learning as something that is reserved for the warmer months, there are actually many benefits to taking our students outside during the winter as well.

First and foremost, outdoor learning can help to boost student engagement and motivation. Being cooped up inside all day can be draining and monotonous, but getting outside and experiencing the fresh air and natural light can help to reinvigorate both students and teachers. It can also provide a welcome break from the usual routine of classroom learning, making it easier for students to stay focused and engaged. Enjoying those short periods of breaktime between lessons are fabulous, but more often than not during the winter months they're simply not long enough for children to fully unwind in between intensive sessions of learning in those overly heated classrooms.

Another benefit of outdoor learning in the winter is that it can help to improve student health and wellbeing. As we all know, winter is a time when many people are susceptible to colds and flu, and spending all day in a stuffy classroom can make it even easier for germs to spread. By taking our students outside, we can help them to get some much-needed exercise and fresh air, which can in turn boost their immune systems and help them to stay healthy.

Of course, there are also many educational benefits to outdoor learning in the winter. For example, the winter months provide a unique opportunity to study the natural world and its many wonders. From the changing colours of the leaves to the behaviour of animals and birds during the winter months, there is no shortage of fascinating topics to explore. Our member schools have taken this perspective in their stride year-on-year, teaching their pupils about life cycles and weather changes for their science and geography lessons.

Teaching children by using real-world experiences is, of course, known for boosting attainment and helping pupils to bridge the gap by being able to link their first-hand experiences with theory learned in the classroom. Unfortunately, taking school trips to offer these experiences are costly and time consuming. Using technology like The Outdoor Classroom makes it possible to take your pupils outdoors and offer that first-hand experience on your own school site!

In addition, outdoor learning can help to develop a range of important skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, and communication. By working together to complete outdoor tasks and activities, students can learn to collaborate effectively and develop their problem-solving skills in a real-world context.

They can also learn to communicate more effectively with each other and with the natural world around them. Of course, it's important to keep in mind that outdoor learning in the winter does come with some challenges. The weather can be unpredictable, and it's important to ensure that students are properly dressed and equipped for the conditions. It's also important to make sure that students are safe at all times, and that appropriate risk assessments are carried out before any outdoor activities take place.

Overall, however, the benefits of outdoor learning in the winter far outweigh the challenges. By taking our students outside and allowing them to experience the natural world in all its glory, we can help to boost their engagement, motivation, and wellbeing, while also providing them with a unique and enriching educational experience. So why not embrace the winter months and give outdoor learning a try? Your students (and your own mental health!) will thank you for it.

To find out more about creating inclusive learning opportunities outdoors this winter term, contact our team or book a quick demo call. We're always happy to answer any questions.