Can we double down and take advantage in our schools?
Throughout the past few months and especially through lockdown, we have heard much talk of people appreciating the reasons, time and opportunities to be out in the open air and especially in the natural world.
Young people, families and often nervous seniors ventured out into parks, nature reserves, open countryside and beaches, where the contrast to ‘being locked down’ heightened their awareness and appreciation of nature. This was especially prevalent in early spring when blossom and bird song pervaded the senses.
With schools now returning to a ‘kind of normal’, we should be building on these heightened senses and affinity to nature.
We know that the possible transmission of Covid 19 diminishes outside in the fresh air and the educational and environmental advantages of outdoor learning have been proven over the years. So, in school, where possible, staff might consider taking any opportunity to find a corner to take groups, to take lessons outside or even sit and read a story before the weather becomes colder.
Or how about putting children in touch with nature by developing a mini-growing area or finding a patch to study what's in the soil/under your feet - a microcosm of the natural world?
See more ideas for outdoor learning on the Learning through Landscapes website https://www.ltl.org.uk/
With just a little ‘outdoor thinking’ we could double the benefits for pupils i.e. - reduce their exposure to covid while giving them valuable experiences in the outdoors and natural world.
And let's hope that by next Spring, our children can really get outdoors to appreciate and 'learn to love and be comfortable in' nature.