“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts” Rachel Carson
Scotland’s Approach to Outdoor Learning
In Scotland, Outdoor Learning is a central theme in the Curriculum for Excellence.
There are many benefits to be gained from taking children outside in an educational setting:
- Knowledge and understanding of subjects like environmental studies, history and local culture, geography and applied maths
- Skills and experiences gained thorough outdoor adventure activities
- Development of language skills
- Learning to deal with risk
- Development of team work and co-operation
- Development of motor skills
- Increased self-esteem
- Developing problem-solving skills
- Engagement with the natural world and learning for sustainability
Information on the benefits to children and the experiences and outcomes that can be gained from teaching outdoors can be found in this document from Education Scotland; an excellent resource with links to many documents relating to Outdoor Learning is on the Creative STAR website.
In the North East Local Biodiversity Partnership our focus is on promoting and protecting our local biodiversity and we are particularly keen to develop an awareness and understanding in the region’s schools and children of our local special habitats and nature, and why we need to care for them. These aims fall within the overarching theme of Learning for Sustainability. The GTCS and LfSS websites have lots of information on how to incorporate Learning for Sustainability in your school.
The 2016 State of Nature Report and 2019 State of Nature Report revealed that the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world so it is vital that future generations learn the importance of caring for our local nature.
The need to educate children about the importance of biodiversity is outlined in both international agreements and national policies. The international Convention on Biological Diversity set a series of 20 targets for biodiversity, known as the Aichi Targets, environmental education and awareness is embedded in the first target. The Scottish Government also prioritises environmental education in its own biodiversity targets.
The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world so it is vital that future generations learn the importance of caring for our local nature
Ranger at Aberdeenshire Council
Interested in Environmental Education?
For parents and schools, there are lots of opportunities to get involved