Learning outdoors creates a context which encourages children and young people to make connections with the world and their learning indoors.
Scotland’s outdoors encompasses village, town and cityscapes through to stunning natural environments. Using these places for learning, especially those on the doorstep, engages children, young people and others in learning actively and linking this experience to other learning in their lives.
Outdoor and Woodland Learning can take many forms and take place in any outdoor environment. OWL Scotland recognises the special context for learning afforded by woodlands but supports learning across all outdoor environments.
There are a range of approaches that can be taken with outdoor and woodland learning, which can range from brief forays into your school grounds, visits to your local natural spaces to fully outdoor nurseries and longer term programmes such as Forest School and residential visits.
There are many benefits to allowing children to play freely in local woodlands or greenspace on a frequent and regular basis. This includes increased physical activity, greater knowledge about nature and, the long term, a stronger likelihood that these children grow up to become adults who understand and demonstrate positive attitudes and actions towards caring for the environment.