How to create the perfect outdoor teaching space

Blog Post by Aileen Melia 05 September 2014

Outdoor classrooms for all seasons

The lesson begins...the sun streams in through the window, the clouds float by, the birds sing, the scent of honeysuckle is in the air...wouldn’t you rather be teaching out there than in here? You could be! Read our guide to creating an outdoor teaching space that will catch the attention of even the biggest daydreamers in the class!

Where’s the best place to put my outdoor classroom?

So, you’ve plenty of external space within the school perimeter, but where’s the best spot to locate an outdoor classroom? Away from the football field, the noisy road and the factory next door. Good locations are easily accessible, but away from the distractions of crowds, with trees for shade, a wall for shelter, and enough space for all the creative stuff going on in there.

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Marsden Primary School's outdoor classroom

How do I lay out my outdoor classroom?

The space needs to be big enough for however many pupils you want to take outside...is it the whole class, or just a small group for storytime? You may need amphitheatre style seating, a few simple benches, even a grassy mound may do. Tree stumps? Carved wooden mushrooms? The seats need to be durable and comfy, not too crammed in but not too spaced out – you don’t want to be shouting to be heard above the gentle buzzing of the honey bees or rustle of the tall grasses (see future blogs for planting for the senses!).

How do I use an outdoor classroom in winter?

This is all well and good for those long hazy summer days, but what about when the sun hasn’t got his hat on? The outdoor classroom in winter can be just as exciting! Architectural spiky plants that catch the frost, wind chimes that sway in the breeze, cushions and blankets for cold bottoms, and even a fire pit for extra warmth? (of course, health & safety comes first!).

 

Creating an outdoor classroom is fun, and planning it can open up all sorts of possibilities – hopefully this article has sparked an interest for you! The following images may give you even more ideas...all we need now is a hot dry summer, and a lovely crisp winter (with no rain!)

 



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