Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning

Outdoor education is organized learning that takes place in the outdoors. Outdoor education programs sometimes involve residential or journey wilderness-based experiences in which students participate in a variety of adventurous challenges and outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, canoeing, ropes courses and group games. Outdoor education draws upon the philosophy, theory, and practices of experiential education and environmental education.

Outdoor Learning is a broad term that includes discovery, experimentation, learning about and connecting to the natural world, and engaging in adventure activities and outdoor sports.

Outdoor Learning helps people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to reflect and learn about themselves, each other and their environment. The positive memories and lasting benefits impact academic achievement, new skills learning, personal and social development, care for the environment, career and professional development, wellbeing and mental health.

At its core, learning is a Process that results in a change in knowledge or behaviour as a result of experience. It is something that is active, builds on prior knowledge and occurs at both an individual and social level.

In formal settings, outdoor learning may involve education and be led by an instructor, teacher, leader or coach for an individual or group. Informally, outdoor learning happens whenever someone is experiencing the natural world and gaining knowledge, skills, understanding or appreciation. Climbing to the top a high ridge, pausing to smell fresh blossom, feeling the force of water whilst sailing through waves, lighting your own fire, finding out why a river is the shape it is, and laughing whilst slipping on rain soaked muddy footpaths are all outdoor learning experiences.

People take part in outdoor learning at all ages, in their professional life and in their personal lives. The Institute for Outdoor Learning holds that all people are to be valued and encouraged to fulfil their potential, without discrimination on any grounds, but with due consideration for their fears and frailties, their strengths and qualities.

The Outdoor Education experience is an integral part of the learning process at Long Close School. With a long tradition of facilitating students’ connection to Active Learning outdoors, our goal is to promote our pupils comfort in, and understanding of, the natural environment. The Early Years children enjoy regular Forest School sessions where they gain a real appreciation of nature. Prep School children take part in residential trips where they stay in camps, learn to cook outdoors and go on expeditions. In the Senior School our students follow the acclaimed DofE programme which teaches them about resilience and volunteering.