The benefits of outdoor learning at St John's School
- Credit: St John's School
Having been confined to their homes and kept away from school friends for the best part of a year, children up and down the country will soon enjoy being back in school with their fellow pupils as current lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
Graham Hurrell, headmaster of St John’s School in Sidmouth, has shared his thoughts on the opportunities outdoor education has to offer.
Mr Hurrell said: “St John’s has always seen the bigger picture when it comes to education, with its iconic building set in verdant green fields along with its own woodland and stream overlooking the stunning Regency resort of Sidmouth, with azure “English Riviera” waters beyond.
“With such opportunities, outdoor education has always been a feature of our nurturing, family-oriented school, both within the local area and on our own green campus. St John’s is renowned for its natural, experiential and interactive contact with nature which is directly correlated with positive environmental sensibility and behaviour in later life, promoting creativity and stewardship through a reduced ecological footprint.
Garden and ecology clubs, “Wild PE” including tree climbing and outdoor problem resolution, fieldwork along with traditional sports and swimming programmes, decrease the acknowledged “Nature Deficit Disorder”, improve concentration, heighten senses, wellbeing and teamwork, and have been demonstrated to raise traditional academic levels and exam grades.
“Could you ask for more after the challenges of lockdown, reduced travel and social confinement? Our children are happy, balanced and achieve their full potential in life, while our “value added” is second to none. With more than a century of experience, along with this enviable environment, would you expect anything else? We do make a difference, and are proud to be a small Devon community school but with an exceedingly big heart.”
The school will be holding a scholarship day on March 10. For more information visit https://www.stjohnsdevon.co.uk/