#OutdoorClassroomDay: Celebrate and Inspire Outdoor Learning

#OutdoorClassroomDay is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire learning and play outside the classroom and to inspire schools everywhere to make outdoor learning and play a part of every day. The campaign started in London, England, and with the support of the global Unilever Dirt is Good family, has now gone global. ACE Trust, a non-profit trust, is leading the campaign in India backed by Project Dirt in the UK. 

In 2018, the Outdoor Classroom Day is on November 1.

Some facts:
The campaign is a response to the decline in the time that children spend outdoors. 
Why is outdoor learning important?
  • Although teachers and parents know that spending time outdoors is important, sometimes it is squeezed out of the school day by all the other competing demands.
  • Outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater understanding of nature.  

The science of Nature project

Why is play essential for children?
  • Leads to their healthy development: needs to be a part of a child’s daily routine
  • Play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood.  

What is real play?

Why is this campaign important for Indian schools?
  • Primary school students in India, annually spend 51 hours more in classrooms than their OECD counterparts. 
  • A 10-year survey on school education in India by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) found that more the time for recess, greater the willingness to study among students. However, in some cases such as in Puducherry, India, only a 15-minute recess is given during the six-hour school day. This is also the reality in many schools across all states in India. For many Indian children, and especially girls, the school provides the only safe play space outdoors, but they get very little time to be outdoors during the school day.
  • Playspace in Indian schools is also shrinking. There is an increasing trend of reducing school plot sizes in Indian cities citing lack of land. Almost half of India’s children HAVE NO PLAYGROUND at school!! 

ACE is not alone in its drive to reconnect children with the outdoors.   In 2017, over 2 million children in over 100 countries took part in the campaign, and 120,000 children from 600 schools across India got involved by having their lessons outside (within and outside school premises) and celebrating playtime too. 

This year, on May 17, already 1.75 million children across Brazil, Spain, France, Portugal, Finland, UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey celebrated OC Day once. 

They are gearing up to come out in even bigger numbers on November 1st, 2018!
Join the movement and the fun!

How can you participate in Outdoor Classroom Day on November 1, 2018?

Schools can sign up for free at the OC Day India website: https://outdoorclassroomday.in which has loads of ideas and resources for teachers or on the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OCDayIndia 
  • Only a principal can sign up the whole school or a teacher can sign up the classes she/he is teaching. 
  • After you have signed up spread the word and inspire others to sign up.
  • Use the hashtag #OutdoorClassroomDay. Talk about the program. Let your network know why and how you will celebrate the Outdoor Classroom Day on November 1, 2018. 
  • Get connected to schools across the world who share your values through the campaign.
  • Need some inspiration on how to celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day? Click here for activities/ ideas and suggestions: https://outdoorclassroomday.in/resources/
For any queries, please do get in touch with us: india@outdoorclassroomday.com

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