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Happier, healthier and more motivated

The Natural Connections Demonstration project, a 4 year outdoor learning project, has just published new evidence on the benefits of outdoor learning to pupils, teachers and schools.

Children from 125 schools across the South West of England are happier, healthier and more motivated to learn thanks to the project, commissioned by Natural England. 

The Aim:

Natural Connections was established to pilot and evaluate new ways of providing local, independent support to schools and teachers to encourage demand for outdoor learning. Over the past four years it has supported schools and teachers to build outdoor learning into their planning and practices and encouraged the supply of high quality learning outside the classroom in the natural environment.

Key Findings:

  • 95 per cent of children surveyed said outdoor learning makes lessons more enjoyable
  • 90 per cent said they felt happier and healthier
  • 72 per cent of children said they got on better with others
  • 93 per cent of schools said outdoor learning improves pupils’ social skills
  • 92 per cent of schools said it improves pupils’ health and wellbeing and engages them with learning

Speaking at the launch of the findings, Natural England’s Chairman, Andrew Sells, said:

"The Natural Connections project has empowered teachers to make the most of what’s right on their doorstep and helped children experience the joy of the natural environment. It’s brought a real culture change into schools, making learning in the outdoors a regular part of school life – and it’s inspiring to see children more engaged with learning and happier and healthier as a result."

To read the report in full, visit Natural England's publications website HERE