News

Outdoor Learning – the new norm?

Published by: at 11th June 2020

Filed under: Uncategorised

Coming out of lockdown is not a flick of the switch moment when we all revert back to the ways we live, work and are educated and measures may have to be in place for some time to come. It will inevitable change how our schools educate in the future and the way we as landscape architects design and adapt the built environment for new and existing schools.

We predict biggest winner in all of this will be the external space, a new era for the outdoor classroom. The evidence shows that being outside reduces transmittance of the virus so we will be encouraging the schools we work with to take advantage of this and exploit the opportunities for outside learning. Many children who have not had access to external spaces while being in lockdown will relish the idea of learning outside and the often large and underused outdoor spaces can be re-purposed.

It is reasonable to assume that parents who have been home schooling will also see how the curriculum has narrowed over the last few years to concentrate on core subjects, discouraging time for creative subjects, in particular having contact with nature, and it would be surprising if parents fight back if they can see how well their children have responded to the more unusual and creative home schooling activities that have been much publicised. A lot of this will be supported by external teaching spaces.

 

 

Coming out of lockdown is not a flick of the switch moment when we all revert back to the ways we live, work and are educated and measures may have to be in place for some time to come. It will inevitable change how our schools educate in the future and the way we as landscape architects design and adapt the built environment for new and existing schools.

We predict biggest winner in all of this will be the external space, a new era for the outdoor classroom. The evidence shows that being outside reduces transmittance of the virus so we will be encouraging the schools we work with to take advantage of this and exploit the opportunities for outside learning. Many children who have not had access to external spaces while being in lockdown will relish the idea of learning outside and the often large and underused outdoor spaces can be re-purposed.

It is reasonable to assume that parents who have been home schooling will also see how the curriculum has narrowed over the last few years to concentrate on core subjects, discouraging time for creative subjects, in particular having contact with nature, and it would be surprising if parents fight back if they can see how well their children have responded to the more unusual and creative home schooling activities that have been much publicised. A lot of this will be supported by external teaching spaces.

 

 

It’s clear that returning children to school is a complex issue that has a significant health, social and economic impact – not only in the short term but also for the long-term future development of children. The ability of those in the education sector to adapt to the post-coronavirus world will be of critical importance for society as a whole and we as designers can help that process.