Our work with schools to create outdoor learning environments that extend the use of the school curriculum has been a positive force. Interest in exploring these opportunities is growing and attracting a number of new initiatives which harness this interest and allow others to share their experience in setting up and extending outdoor ‘classrooms’.
In addition to providing durable spaces in which children can informally play and organised sport take place we have been able to work with school heads and teachers to bring the production of food to a wider school audience by creating exciting gardening opportunities on the school site. This interest in growing fruit and vegetables allows the teachers to extend the curriculum while teaching children where our food comes from.
Paul Clarke, Professor of Education at St Mary’s University College says “Forty per cent of children who leave primary school have no idea where even the most basic fruit and vegetables come from; what’s grown in the UK and what is imported,” says Clarke. “Gardening gives children an understanding of, and a connectedness with, the natural environment and the cycles of nature. Growing things also gives them an insight into managing resources, especially water, much more thoughtfully and efficiently.”
(Source: Daily Telegraph/ Judith Woods 27/07/2012)