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10 Sep 2019

How teachers can embrace the great outdoors

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to inspire kids to learn outdoors. This year, Outdoor Classroom Day NSW, in partnership with Nature Play Australia and Centennial Parklands, returns Thursday November 7 2019.

Discover Outdoor Classroom Day with Nature Play Australia and Centennial Parklands

Outdoor Classroom Day is a day to celebrate existing programs and introduce outdoor learning to schools. Last year 300,000 children at more than 2,500 schools and early learning centres took part in Outdoor Classroom Day, and this year we are hoping for even more.

All New South Wales schools and early learning centres are invited to participate!

Did you know?

Students who take part in outdoor learning programs perform better in reading, writing, maths and science, with 77% of teachers reporting student improvement in standardised tests.

Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Why is Outdoor Classroom Day important?

Intuitively, we often feel better in nature.  Research is now demonstrating the physiological emotional and behavioural benefits that we gain from being in nature.  Being in nature reduces blood pressure, stress, and improves cognitive abilities.
Taking lessons outside improves leaning outcomes, improves behaviour and concentration; it is a great way for students to undertake peer learning and develop social skills.  Research shows that well-being, social skills, resilience and leadership qualities are also developed at higher levels in the outdoors environment.

Outdoor learning also benefits teachers too - teachers who take their kids outside on a regular basis have less sick days, report a higher level of well-being and are able to get to know their children better. 
 
Being outside provides kids with exercise, opportunities for gross and fine motor skills and leads to improved health.  Kids also learn how to physically take calculated risks, leading to a greater ability to manage risks in life.

With all these benefits to outdoor learning why not sign up today?

Tips for teachers - making the most of Outdoor Classroom Day

NSW syllabus lesson plans, posters, inspiration, hints and tips - everything you need  - can be found at Outdoor Classroom Day
 
To make outdoor classroom day easier for you, follow these simple tips:

  • Plan ahead – know what activity you are going to do, what outdoor space you will use and which classes will be participating
  • Download the NSW Curriculum-aligned integrated subject lesson plans
  • If required, organise a timetable so you can share your outdoor spaces
  • Involve parents and carers if you need extra support
  • Be prepared for the weather – remember hats, sunscreen, jumpers and raincoats
  • Record your experiences in photographs to use in newsletters and back in the classroom
  • Celebrate the fun and learning by sharing your story with others
  • Continue ongoing outdoor learning back at school
 

Sign up!

It’s easy to get involved and there is something every school can do. If you’re a teacher, educator or school administrator and new to outdoor learning, why not use Outdoor Classroom Day to try it out? Or, if you’re already involved in outdoor learning, use the day to celebrate what you do and inspire other teachers around the world to join in.

Getting involved at Centennial Parklands

In 2018, Castleraegh NS held their own outdoor classroom day event in Centennial Parklands, exploring the Parklands and doing physical games.

“It was a truly wonderful experience for the children and for the parents.”
 ​Elisabeth O’Carroll, Castleraegh NS

All schools can get involved in Outdoor Classroom Day, in any outdoors environment.

Share the exciting news about Outdoor Classroom Day in your networks, schools and early learning centres. Further information available here.

Teachers can also learn more about our professional development programs and year-round school excursion opportunities.

If you are a journalist and have a media enquiry about this story, please click here for contact details and more information.

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