A TRAFFORD nursery has been embracing outdoor learning, with the children loving it.
And educationalists say the approach could prove invaluable in the fight against coronavirus.
Broadheath’s Back to the Garden Childcare centre on Sinderland Road celebrated outdoor classroom day and children spent time in the nursery’s gardens and outdoor classroom tipi.
The tipi is a permanent space for the children to enjoy outdoor learning all year round – including story-telling and even yoga classes.
According to Government advice, the spread of Covid-19 is recognised to be much lower in outdoor environments.
So the benefit of outdoor learning for children and their teachers is increased, particularly during the current pandemic.
And teachers believe outdoor learning could soon become “an integral part of school life, allowing for effective social distancing schooling.”
As part of their outdoor lessons, children have been making “nature crowns” using anything they can find in the garden, like leaves and twigs, to decorate them.
They’ve also been getting stuck in with “mud kitchens”, playing with clay and they’ve already been on a bear hunt, using the garden and their imagination to travel through grass and water and across stepping stones.
Zoe Bowring, deputy manager, said: “Connecting with nature is at the very heart of our nursery, as our name suggests, so we jumped at the chance to celebrate outdoor classroom day.
“All year round, regardless of the weather, we actively encourage outdoor learning as the benefits for children, from wellbeing and health to personal development, are extraordinary.”
Over nine million children have taken part so far in the global initiative of outdoor classroom day – which hopes to inspire outdoor play and learning at home, nursery or in school.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools and nurseries are currently closed except for children of key workers.
As a result, many children have been spending more time in front of screens and nurseries like Back to the Garden Childcare want to tackle this and get children into nature through play.
The nursery said this has helped to improve the children’s wellbeing and their health.
Zoe added: “Outdoor classroom day positively promotes the many benefits of children being outdoors learning through play, and it would wonderful if, due to this movement, more educational settings incorporated the outdoors in their curriculum
“Indeed, as the Government and educational bodies try to come up with a plan for safely reopening nurseries and schools, outdoor learning could soon become an integral part of school life, allowing for effective social distancing schooling.”
Back to the Garden Childcare is currently open, supporting the children of key workers.
On Monday June 1, the nursery will start to welcome back other children gradually, following Government guidance, over the course of the coming months.