Call for more ‘open air’ classrooms answered at RSPB Minsmere

The benefit of letting children take risks outside is being championed on the Suffolk coast.

Children from Reydon Primary School spent a day away from the classroom when they visited RSPB Minsmere last Friday. The nature reserve had invited the youngsters, aged four and five, to visit after new research, commissioned by RSPB, revealed primary school teachers want to see more outside learning spaces in schools. The survey showed that teachers would be encouraged to organise outdoor school trips if there was more funding and greater access to 'outside classrooms'.

Mary Carlill, reception teacher at the Reydon school near Southwold, said: 'It's about taking risks in a safe environment.

'At Minsmere they were allowed to put their hands in the water, fish bugs out and climbs up steps. It's going against most of the health and safety rules around, but they come away with memories and experience. It's old fashioned play.

Sharon Sanderson, RSPB youth and education volunteers team manager, said: 'In a time when young people are spending more time indoors, we are passionate about providing children with these crucial experiences out in nature.

'We believe they leave a lasting impression and inspire them to be environmentally responsible citizens.'

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