Can Outdoor Learning Aid Classroom Management?

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, teachers continually seek innovative approaches to address the diverse needs of their students. One strategy gaining traction is Outdoor Learning, a pedagogical approach that extends beyond the traditional classroom walls. However the method is currently underused by many schools as it can be difficult to integrate into the curriculum without support.

Beyond its academic benefits, Outdoor Learning has proven to be a powerful tool for managing pupils with behavioural issues creating a positive ripple effect throughout the entire class. We’ve also looked into how this method of teaching can offer accessible learning opportunities to neurodivergent pupils, and how the benefits can contribute towards improved mental and physical health.

With help from The Outdoor Classroom system, Outdoor Learning is empowering teachers to effectively manage challenging behaviours and integrate the strategy into the everyday curriculum.

A key advantage of Outdoor Learning is the change in environment it offers. For pupils with behavioural issues, the traditional classroom setting can feel restrictive and contribute to heightened stress levels. The great outdoors provides a breath of fresh air, figuratively and literally, offering a more relaxed and open space for both teachers and their pupils. The freedom of the outdoors can have a calming effect, potentially reducing instances of disruptive behaviour.

Outdoor learning often involves hands-on, experiential activities that captivate pupils’ interest. Engaging in real-world experiences fosters a sense of curiosity and excitement, redirecting the focus of pupils with behavioural issues from disruptive behaviours to the task at hand. Whether it's a science experiment, or using nature observation to learn adjectives, the hands-on nature of Outdoor Learning can be a powerful catalyst for positive behavioural change.

Outdoor Learning environments encourage collaboration, teamwork, and social interaction. For pupils struggling with behavioural issues, the opportunity to engage with peers in a less structured setting can promote the development of essential social skills. Learning to cooperate and communicate effectively in an outdoor setting can translate into improved behaviour within the classroom, positively influencing the overall dynamics of the class.

The enclosed space of traditional classrooms can often create more disruption to a class when a child exhibits behavioural distractions. The great outdoors offers a more natural and minimalistic setting, reducing potential triggers for disruptive behaviour, and offering a wide buffer zone enabling other pupils to remain on task while the teacher addresses behavioural issues separately.

Regular physical activity has been linked to improved mental health and overall well-being. Outdoor Learning naturally incorporates movement, providing an outlet for excess energy and restlessness. For pupils with behavioural issues, the opportunity to engage in physical activities can be a valuable outlet, contributing to improved focus and a more positive attitude towards learning.

The outdoor setting often allows for more informal interactions between teachers and pupils. Establishing positive relationships is crucial for managing behavioural issues, as pupils are more likely to respond positively to educators they feel a connection with. Outdoor Learning provides opportunities for open communication, fostering a sense of trust and understanding that can translate into improved behaviour within the classroom.

With fewer LSAs and funding in schools, teachers are facing more pressure than ever before. Which is why we are proud to work with an expert panel of active teachers to create multiple features that support the work of our educators and reduce some of the workload and stress they face daily. Contact our team to join discuss your school’s unique needs, so we can develop a tailored plan to help support your pupils and your teachers.