Research shows that healthier and happier children do better in school, and that education is an important determinant of future health.
But education is not just about lessons within the four walls of a classroom. The outdoor environment encourages skills such as problem solving and negotiating risk which are important for child development.
But opportunities for children to access the natural environment are diminishing. Children are spending less time outside due to concerns over safety, traffic, crime, and parental worries. Modern environments have reduced amounts of open green spaces too, while technology has increased children’s sedentary time. It is for these reasons and more that many think schools have arguably the greatest potential – and responsibility – to give children access to natural environments.
This is not just about improving break times and PE lessons, however. Across the UK, teachers are getting children outdoors by delivering curriculum-based lessons in school grounds or local areas.