At Plaistow, we use outdoor learning is a pedagogical approach to enrich learning, enhance school engagement and improve pupil health and wellbeing.
Children living in inner-city London have reduced access to the natural environment and green spaces. Children are enjoying less time outdoors due to increased amounts of traffic as well as an ever-growing culture of spending too much time on electronic devices. Breathing fresh, clean air and being active in nature improves both physical and mental health.
At our school we believe that the relationship between child health, wellbeing and education demonstrates that healthier and happier children achieve higher educational attainment.
Delivering lessons in the outdoor environment enriches learning and engagement, widens personal development skills and improves health, wellbeing and enjoyment in learning.
Research has shown that as a result of learning in the outdoors and through nature, children are more engaged in their learning, have increased concentration during lesson time and as a result demonstrate excellent behaviour for learning. This in turn has a direct correlation on their academic performance.
Moreover, outdoor learning has a positive impact on the health, well-being and job satisfaction of teachers (Curriculum-based outdoor learning for children aged 9-11, Marchant E, Todd C, Cooksey R, Dredge S, Jones H, Reynolds D, et al., 2019).
At Plaistow, we aim to use outdoor learning as a tool to:
- Encourage children to spend time learning in and through nature
- Where possible, enrich the learning taking place in the classroom
- Support children in using the outdoor environment to become creative problem solvers
- Encourage children to take safe, adventurous risks and to learn and try new things
- Help children in developing a growth mindset, believing they can overcome obstacles if they keep trying their best
- Encourage children to have a love of nature and understand the importance of protecting it
- Foster and nurture the mental and emotional health of all in our school community
- Equip children with the knowledge of where our food comes from and learn the skills of how to grow, cook and prepare their own healthy meals
- Create a joyful atmosphere in our school community that comes from spending time together in nature
Plaistow Edible Playground
We are incredibly proud of our Edible Playground!
All of our children spend regular time working in the garden and its use is woven throughout our curriculum offer.
We have after school clubs as well as targeted gardening groups for children in need of additional social, emotional and mental health support.