The benefits of outdoor learning at St John's School

Outdoor education decreases the acknowledged “Nature Deficit Disorder”

Outdoor education decreases the acknowledged “Nature Deficit Disorder” - 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. 

St John's School headmaster Graham Hurrell

St John's School headmaster Graham Hurrell - Credit: St John's School

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. 

Wild PE lessons include tree climbing

Wild PE lessons include tree climbing - Credit: St John's School

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.”

Teamwork helps build friendships

Teamwork helps build friendships - Credit: St John's School

The school will be holding a scholarship day on March 10. For more information visit

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