Fires and mud – all in a (school) day!

6th October 2016

Teachers across the world unite to take classes outside on 6th October in a campaign to make the outdoors part of every child’s day.

From Canada to Kazakhstan, 01-stem-on-the-beachUruguay to the United Kingdom, schools around the world will be taking thousands of children outdoors to play and learn today, Thursday 6th October, for Outdoor Classroom Day. The global campaign, led by Project Dirt, recognises that every child needs time outdoors — both at home and as part of the school day.

Experts have long spoken about the benefits of outdoor play and learning, which improves health and well-being, engages students with learning, and helps children build skills for the future. But across the world, the time that children spend outdoors is in decline and teachers are saying taking classes outside seems harder than ever.

02-skipIn a bid to show how easy it is to use the outdoors for lessons, schools across the world have been sharing their plans. In Malta one school will be doing ‘Science lesson on solids, liquids and gases found outside’. In the United Arab Emirates a Kindergarten is planning an ‘obstacle race with recycled material’, and a secondary school in Canada is encouraging the students to ‘reflect on an environmental issues from the perspective of different beings’; whilst in the UK a primary school is planning ‘to build a Stone Age campfire’. Play with loose parts also features heavily, especially in Portugal where more than 500 schools are taking part, making break times between lessons far more active and fun.

Cath Prisk, Global Partnerships Manager at Project Dirt, said: “From my first days as a primary teacher I’ve been in awe at the questions being outdoors provokes in children of all ages. The way they can play for hours in leaves, how much more creative they are after running around a field or even a seemingly bare yard. Sadly, today’s children are becoming disconnected with nature and the time they have to spend outdoors is in decline. On average, children across the world now spend an hour or less outside per day, with one in ten never playing outdoors outside of school.

That’s why Project Dirt, supported by Unilever’s Dirt is Good brands, is proud to lead the Outdo03-quoteor Classroom Day campaign. We’ve been blown away by the response to the campaign — by the end of tomorrow, almost 3,000 schools will have taken over 450,000 children outdoors to play and learn in 2016.3 But it’s not just about one day— the aim is to inspire students’ families, their wider communities, and schools around the world, to make outdoor learning and play part of every day.”

Find out more at: www.outdoorclassroomday.com and follow the fun on social media using #OutdoorClassroomDay.

Ends

For further information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact Cath Prisk on +44 (0)7813 879179 or Cath@ProjectDirt.com.

 

 

  1. Key statistics
    1. 92% of schools reported outdoor learning improves pupils’ health and wellbeing. Source: NECR215 edition 1 – Natural Connections Demonstration Project, 2012-2016: Final Report, Natural England.
    2. 92% of schools agreed that children engaged more with their learning outdoors. Source: NECR215 edition 1 – Natural Connections Demonstration Project, 2012-2016: Final Report, Natural England.
    3. 96% of parents agree that play enables children to become well-rounded adults. Source: Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016.
    4. 93% of parents believe children’s learning would suffer without opportunities to play. Source: Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016.
    5. 64% of parents globally believe their child has less opportunities to play than they did as a child. Source: Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016.
    6. The majority of children (56%) globally get one hour or less of outside play per day; 1 in 10 children never play outside on an average day Source: Edelman Berland for Unilever, 2016.
  2. https://naturalengland.blog.gov.uk/2016/09/29/are-we-at-the-turning-point-for-outdoor-learning/
  3. In the UK, Outdoor Classroom Day is called Empty Classroom Day and this year took place on 17th The figures reported for the 2016 campaign is the culmination of both campaign dates. In 2017, the date for the campaign will be 18th May for everyone.
  4. Outdoor Classroom Day is supported locally by Fee Suomi in Finland, Ayuda en Accion in Spain, Aprendiz in Brazil and Associação Nacional de Professores in Portugal, working with Skip and Omo teams locally.

Notes to editors

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire learning and play outside the classroom, is powered by Unilever’s Dirt is Good brands and led globally by Project Dirt. The campaign builds on the UK’s Empty Classroom Day.

About Project Dirt

Project Dirt is the UK’s most active network connecting and resourcing community projects. It knows that communities and their projects can change the world.  The organization is using social media for a purpose: to connect, promote and resource passionate people and their projects.

About Dirt is Good

Dirt is Good (DiG) is the campaign supported by Unilever’s leading detergent brands including OMO, Persil, Skip and Via, sold in over 78 markets. Taken together, the Dirt is Good brands are the fourth-most consumed brands in the world. The Dirt is Good brands have a unique philosophy in the laundry category. We believe that Dirt is Good: that children need plenty of exploratory, hands-on play – the kind where they can go out and get dirty– because it is essential for their learning and healthy development. In partnership with parents, educators, and other leading child development experts, we are committed to investigating the best ways to help children play, explore and get dirty every day so that they can learn and develop to their full potential.

The Dirt is Good Advisory Board is a group of experts and expert organizations advising the Dirt is Good programme. The Board includes Sir Ken Robinson, Dr Stuart Brown and representatives from Project Dirt.

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Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!!!

Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!!!

Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!

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