It is great to read through SNH’s recent report on the state of outdoor learning in Scottish School’s. the work was undertaken by academics at Stirling University and compares data from 2006 with a recent survey. Some highlights which we at FSC Scotland were really glad to read about were:
- “Outdoor provision increases learner engagement and enhances educational experience” with teachers saying that in the vast majority of outdoor events learning was significantly enhanced compared to indoor classroom work.
- The amount of outdoor learning in Scotland has been on the rise since 2006, and since Curriculum for Excellence began.
But there is still a lot of work to be done, with the report outlining how patchy and variable outdoor learning is within secondary schools in Scotland. It also said that students at schools in the most deprived areas were the least likely to benefit from outdoor learning.
FSC Scotland is doing what we can support outdoor learning. One of the things suggested by the report was not only encouraging residentials but also making more use of school grounds and local spaces near to schools reducing some of the cost barriers faced by some schools. Matt Keyse, one of our staff, funded by the lottery through the OPAL project, has already worked with 6000 people (mainly secondary school students) running outdoor learning sessions in school grounds and local parks. We also have funds to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to come on residentials to FSC Millport and FSC Kindrogan.
You can read the full report at www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/commissioned_reports/779.pdf
You can also read about our campaigning work the FSC is doing in Scotland to try to make the report’s aspirational target of doubling the amount of outdoor learning happening in our school’s at www.field-studies-council.org/media/1303156/fsc-scotland-prospectus-2-.pdf