Monday, 23 March 2009

Outside learning but Interesting decisions

A great outdoor space for students - for learning, working, socialising, relaxing... BUT....
Visiting a UK school recently I was admiring just one of their outdoor spaces complete with ampitheatre type seating, a courtyard and on through to an under cover largely glass protected area. This clearly allows students a whole variety of situations and opportunities for socialising, for working, for performance and provided a series of other working opportunities.

More and more schools are now being concerned about the potential of learning through external landscapes and architecture - this is a great space.

I was very sad though that, at the time of my visit, the whole space was banned for students because, at the school boundary just behind the seating after a strip of grass and the other side of a very high fence, was a river. I don't know of the causes behind the ban, so can't comment - they must have been good, but what a waste of a wonderful facility.

Whilst I think that this decision will be changed soon, something has clearly gone wrong here for this decision to be made, either in planning or in over protectionsim of students. I can't help but think of all those schools backing onto busy roads, railway tracks and yes - rivers. Students live in a very busy 21st century world with all sorts of risks and challenges. We have to be able to teach them how to work in all sorts of environments.

I can't help but think that there must be a better solution...

Somewhere, over the fence in this long grass is a river..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's called covering your own back. It's why fewer school trips go ahead. That, and the endless paperwork just to take some children a few miles up the road.