Work on the Wild Side attempts to debunk the myth that outdoor learning and residentials are not viable teaching mechanisms. As accountability within schools increases and budgets decrease, it is easy to see how outdoor learning can slip down the agenda. This notdeadfish report compiles the evidence demonstrating how schools across the country are using outdoor learning to improve children’s academic attainment and emotional well-being.
We analysed UK primary and secondary schools with the highest Progress 8 scores and winners of the Pupil Premium Awards, and summarised what they said about residentials and outdoor learning in their external prospectuses and websites, and what inspectors said about the same topic in their most recent Ofsted reports. We found that outdoor learning is valued amongst teachers, pupils, parents and inspectors and that the skills learnt outdoors are transferable to the classroom and across the academic spectrum.
The launch of Work on the Wild Side coincides with the ‘Outdoor Classroom Day’ campaign. This day celebrates the use of outdoor learning and promotes this method across the education spectrum. We believe that every child is entitled to experience the outdoors and hope that this report can be used to help support the case.