Learning Beyond the Classroom
At Sinclair House, we believe that an engaging curriculum is not just about what pupils learn, but also, how and where children learn. Making lessons engaging and fun can improve pupils' understanding, skills, and values as well as enhancing personal and social development.
So-called "real-world learning" effectively brings the benefits of formal and informal education together by integrating learning within and beyond the classroom.
Importantly, this also helps to increase pupils' motivation to learn - and their capacity to absorb information in new and exploratory ways.
meaningful learning occurs through acquiring knowledge and skills through real-life, practical or hands-on activities.
There is a wealth of evidence which clearly demonstrates the benefits for young people’s learning and personal development outside the classroom. A 2016 survey of parents revealed that three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates! This means schools have an opportunity to make a huge difference to young people’s mental health by increasing time spent outdoors.
On top of the benefits on children's creativity and wellbeing, learning outside also helps children to have a broader connection to (and appreciation of) the natural world.
"The Extinction of Experience"
Children today have fewer opportunities for outdoor free play and regular contact with the natural world.
New research refers to this loss of phenomenon as the “extinction of experience” — a practice that breeds apathy toward environmental concerns.
Environmentalists now argue that society has become so far removed from its natural origins, it doesn’t associate its own continued existence with the stability and vitality of its natural resources. While the loss of children’s contact with the natural world negatively impacts their development and acquisition of knowledge, it also sets the stage for a continuing devaluation of the natural environment.
Children who are connected to the natural world can positively shape the future. We know that forests and trees provide clean air, clean water and wood products we use every day. And water is important for all life on earth. Children need to be engaged in the outdoors and environmental issues to make these connections and to understand the importance of looking after our natural world.