Vanessa Bingham, headteacher at The Lyceum School, answers our question on outdoor education
The recent revelation that today’s generation of children spend less time outdoors than prisoners shows that outdoor education needs to form a fundamental part of the school day. And with good reason, too – the benefits are endless. From increased enthusiasm and engagement to higher levels of concentration and the development of interpersonal skills, getting out of the classroom and into the field is a brilliant way to stimulate learning for children.
There are lots of ways schools can implement outdoor activity, both as part of the academic timetable and through extracurricular clubs. Examples include walking buses to and from school, taking lessons like science, art and drama outside, to adopting class pets and starting a school vegetable patch.
At The Lyceum – as with many central London schools – we lack our own private outdoor space so instead, we take advantage of the facilities around us. One day we might be exploring nature in Bunhill Fields, another doing sports in the Honourable Artillery Ground. We offer tennis and swimming at the Barbican and go ice skating in the winter at Broadgate. All these activities ensure our children get the best possible outdoor education, despite our building’s limitations.
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