Last week saw children returning back to the classroom full time. Some will have gone with the excitement of seeing their friends in a familiar setting, while others will have been apprehensive about what being together in large groups could bring. Ultimately it is a time of change and that can be unsettling.

Group of girls sitting round campfire toasting marshmallows

The use of outdoor spaces for learning, while not a new idea, will almost certainly increase during this adjustment period. This has the potential to add pressure to teaching staff who may not be comfortable with taking a class outside or know how to go about it.

That is where we can help. Cumbernauld Living Landscape is offering free Continuing Professional Development sessions to help not just teachers but youth group leaders in the town.

We aim our own outdoor learning sessions at 8-18 years, but we can equip those working with young children, such as nursery staff, with the basics which can adapted to meet your needs.

Outdoor learning benefits children and young people in so many ways. It improves concentration, communication, and teamwork. It also helps improve attainment. Importantly it helps a child to assess risk, especially self-risk.

That branch a child is bouncing up on is being tested for tensile strength, the slip on a wet log teaches balance and weight distribution the next time it is used. Wrap all this together and you create resilience.

Coronavirus has created a host of new challenges and no doubt will have a remarkable effect on our mental and physical health. But it has also led to the need to normalise going outside again. lets keep the momentum going and make a better future for our young people.

For more information about the free training sessions we have to offer get in touch with me by email tlambert@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

Tracy Lambert, Project Officer

Tracy Lambert