A group of organisations is asking MPs to look consider more outdoor learning for children to try and improve wellbeing while the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The leaders of 32 environmental and youth-focused groups, including The Wildlife Trust and National Youth Agency, say that nature has provided “immeasurable comfort” during the Covid-19 lockdown.
They have written to the Commons Education Select Committee to ask for an inquiry, saying that outdoor learning plays a key role in helping young people feel mentally well.
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The letter comes after warnings that outdoor learning could be at risk if Government guidance continues to advise against school trips.
The letter says: “As more pupils start returning to schools, the focus in the coming days will rightly be on their safety, their wellbeing and their personal development, as well as on teachers’ safety and wellbeing.
“Outdoor learning will play a key role as part of this, helping children catch up, by increasing motivation and re-engagement with learning – particularly for those from low socio-economic backgrounds, who have been affected most during lockdown.
It concludes: “We believe now is the perfect time for an inquiry into the vital role of outdoor learning in boosting children’s attainment, resilience and wellbeing.”
The groups also say that being outdoors has been shown to improve children’s resilience during the unusual circumstances presented by coronavirus restrictions.