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Welcome to the School Grounds page.

 The importance of school grounds

Children today spend less than half the time playing outdoors that their parents did and are less likely to spend time outdoors at school. They are growing up in an increasingly indoor, sedentary and virtual world, ever more divorced from the real world around them. This has a significant impact on their physical health, emotional wellbeing, social competence and their connection with the natural world and their local communities.

The best place for children to enjoy the outdoors, learn about the natural world and take vigorous exercise on a regular basis is in the school grounds. School grounds are safe and accessible, you need no additional staff, no consent forms, no transport, and there is no additional cost.

The Benefits of School Grounds

Physical Health - Playing and learning outdoors can improve muscular strength, co-ordination, balance, dexterity and aerobic fitness. Children can burn as many calories in an active outdoor play session as in a PE lesson. Enjoying the outdoors in childhood leads to a greater use of the outdoors for active recreation in childhood and later life. 

 

Learning - “When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.” (Ofsted, 2008)

When they took part in outdoor learning children:

  • “Performed significantly better on achievement tests”
  • And pupils “expressed high interest and well-being and low anger, anxiety, and boredom”

(Maller C in Dillon, 2010)

Emotional health - There is a wide body of research demonstrating the positive impact of nature on emotional wellbeing. “In outdoor learning, pupils develop more positive relationships with each other, with their teachers and with the wider community. It can develop community pride and a greater sense of place, belonging and community.” (Taking Learning Outdoors. Learning Teaching Scotland, 2007) 

 

Nature deficit - Outdoor learning connects children and young people with the natural world. Positive experiences of nature in childhood have a significant impact on environmental attitudes and behaviours in adulthood. This is essential if we are to ask people to change their lifestyles and be more environmentally aware. 

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