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Why outdoor learning matters for young children

The Early Years are a wonderful time for instilling a lifelong love of learning and building up experiences within an enabling and stimulating environment. It is a time for creating new relationships and friendships and enjoying being part of the school community.  

Every child is unique and outdoor learning provides the perfect opportunity for the learner to be placed at the heart of the learning experience. It is truly wonderful to observe the excitement that is generated when pupils are actively engaged with their outdoor environment. Outdoor lessons can support all areas of the curriculum and, with the correct clothing, can take place in all weathers.

Outdoor learning opportunities should be a regular part of a child’s day, not just a weekly activity, and it is the perfect opportunity to encourage children to build their grit and resilience. For children of school age, it is important that learning is able to flow between the indoor and outdoor environments and pupils are encouraged to build on their own interests. 

Children can be supported to develop their decision making, independence, and confidence, through a wide range of activities and challenges encompassing problem solving, reasoning, and  numerical tasks, along with opportunities to develop communication skills between both peers and adults. Children can test out ideas and take risks within a secure and safe environment while learning by doing and building on skills and developing their sense 

and knowledge of the world they are living in. Challenges become fun problems to solve rather than being perceived as a difficulty that cannot be overcome.

Through positive relationships with educators and the outdoor environment, outdoor learning in all its forms supports the development of resilient, capable, confident and self-assured pupils who learn to be strong and independent learners.

Mrs Victoria Fabre De La Grange

Head of Early Years

Portsmouth High Prep and Pre-School


Posted in: Articles, Education