Greenspaces are our children’s outdoor classrooms

Contributing to the Scottish Government Outcome:

Learning outdoors actively engages young people and connects their broader learning with the world around them. Greenspace offers an ideal setting for outdoor learning – greenspaces within and near to school grounds provide pupils and teachers with ready access to the outdoors.

There is good evidence to show that learning in an outdoor environment delivers social and personal development benefits, as well as enhancing student performance.

A recent study in Barcelona showed the benefits of simply having nearby greenspace. The study found that each degree of increase in surrounding greenness led to a 5% improvement in the development of short-term, or working memory, over a period of one year. It also improved the progress of “superior working memory” – the ability to update memories with changing information – by 6%, and reduced inattentiveness.

Research also shows that:

  • wooded play areas around schools can help to improve behaviour and reduce bullying
  • for children from low income families who move house, the greener their home environment, the greater their ability to concentrate on mental activities

UN Sustainable Development Goals