“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

‘Outdoor Learning’: Pandemic Could Force Classrooms Outside

Georgie Chantrell-Plant reveals the possible solution to teaching children during the coronavirus pandemic

Photo by Annie Spratt

With the current conversation centering around when it will be possible for children to return to school in light of the coronavirus pandemic, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon is embracing the model of Outdoor Learning.

The benefits and possibilities of the approach are being explored to ascertain how the vast availability of outdoor space in Scotland could be utilised as a safe learning environment, keeping social distancing at the forefront of the proposal.

Sturgeon has warned that a full re-opening and return to schools in Scotland won’t be until August at the earliest, and local authorities are already exploring how outdoor spaces can be used to enable social distancing within classes.

Outdoor Learning is already part of Scotland’s ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ as educators believe it could bring benefits, not only for the reduced risk of virus-transmission amongst pupils and teachers, but also for improved eyesight, immune system resilience, environmental empathy and even risk assessment abilities.