Today, Jeremy visited All Saints School in Tilford to face a Question Time-style panel of children and to officially open the school’s fabulous new outdoor classroom.
Jeremy said: "All Saints School is a great place with staff doing a first class job of teaching and developing young pupils. The creation of this outside classroom with enable the teachers to do even more to inspire and nurture these children – what a fantastic start to school life!”
All Saints is a firm advocate of Outdoor Learning in children’s school life. Research (see Note 1 below) shows that young children are spending less time outside and have fewer physical activities. At the same time, youth obesity and mental health problems are on the rise. To combat this, the team at All Saints believe it is vital that schools embrace the power of imaginative education outside the classroom walls.
Headteacher Sara Bedford explains, “Children love being outside. Current research into education shows substantial evidence that playing and working outdoors has fantastic benefits for the health, wellbeing and learning of children and their teachers. Outdoor Learning is engaging, collaborative and highly creative. At All Saints, we plan carefully to ensure that all of our children are immersed in creative challenges every day. The opening of our new, all-weather Outdoor Classroom enables us to do this in beautiful natural surroundings. It’s exciting and a real affirmation of our commitment to developing happy, well-balanced children. We were delighted to have the opportunity to showcase our vision and school with Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt today. Our children thoroughly enjoyed meeting and interviewing a senior government leader.”
“Our outdoor learning offers children a huge variety of opportunities. From the physics and design-technology behind blasting rockets across the field to the artistic skills and patience of painting bluebells in our woods; from challenging our children to run for 7 minutes before they’re 7 years old to identifying British trees and birds, our children’s time outdoors makes for impressive results, cheerful children and all-round achievers at All Saints,” comments School Development Lead, Louise Walters.
Outdoor Learning harnesses children’s natural curiosity. It keeps them enthused: excited to learn, keen to solve problems, thinking critically, communicating with each other, building relationships and mastering persistence. All are the building blocks for success in education and, as the World Economic Fund has stated, all will be essential skills for careers in the future.