The November issue of IE is out!

In this month’s issue we look at the schools embracing the great outdoors for adventure, learning and play, look into sustainable school dinners and discover the state of cybersecurity in independent schools

How much time do you spend outdoors?

While it’s getting a little cold to be ecstatic about the thought of taking lessons outdoors, it is still worth thinking about how much time you and your pupils spend outside throughout the year.

Whether it’s adventure activities like water sports, learning in an outdoor classroom or playing in a specially designed playground, benefits range from academic progress to increased confidence.

Val Proctor has explored these benefits further in our feature on page 55, as well as insightful research.

For example, Natural England’s Natural Connections Demonstration project found 92% of teachers surveyed said that pupils were more engaged with learning when outdoors and 85% saw a positive impact on their behaviour. Ninety-two percent of pupils involved in the project said they enjoyed their lessons more when outdoors, with 90% feeling happier and healthier as a result.

It even motivates staff, with 79% of teachers reporting positive impacts on their teaching practice.

Of course, there are practical barriers, such as the weather, that can make it difficult to get outside, but the research is overwhelmingly positive for when outdoor learning can be made a priority. And it’s not just sports teachers who should be thinking outside the box. Teachers of mostly any subject can take a class outdoors.

Caroline Hoole, head of adventure and service at Lomond School, said music teachers could take their class out to “listen to birds singing before going back to write music”. How can you inspire your pupils outdoors?

I hope you enjoy the issue. 

Jo Golding

Editor, Independent Education Today

Email me your stories at

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