Outdoor Learning Spaces
Outdoor Learning Spaces are an excellent way to address social distancing while providing fresh air, hands-on learning opportunities, and the health benefits associated with increased access to nature.
Outdoor Learning Spaces on Powhatan’s campus
The 64-acre wooded campus provides for plenty of creative opportunities to get children outside in the fresh air during the day. By leveraging the abundant natural resources on campus we have added numerous designated Outdoor Learning Spaces for students. These spaces follow the cohort system that we are using across campus, outlined in the Academic Restart Plan. Teachers have the freedom to move classes outside at times throughout the day. We do this by sectioning off outdoor spaces across campus to be used only by specific cohorts of students during the school day.
Outdoor Health Benefits: The Nature Pill
In this award-winning blog post and podcast, we sat down with Mrs. Coutts, the Lower School Science Teacher & NEAL Coordinator, to discuss the health benefits of getting children outside in nature.
There is significant research coming to the forefront centered around the positive effects on our bodies and being outside. A fascinating study out of Aarhaus University in Denmark tracks one million individuals over almost three decades. While it focuses on the connection between health and nature with people at various ages, it zeroes in on the impact that the amount of time children spend in nature has on human development over time.
The Crocker Conservancy
We are continually using the lens of NEAL (Nature-Enhanced Approach to Learning) as we create, amend, and reflect upon our curriculum. The Crocker Conservancy adds a whole new dimension to the scope of the NEAL program, allowing for the land directly behind the school to become an outdoor laboratory for hands-on experiential learning.
The Crocker Conservancy is made up of the 47-acres located in the back of our campus. There are three main habitats on the Crocker Conservancy, including a wetland habitat, warm season grass and wild flower meadow and hardwood forests. Each unique learning space offers real-world opportunities for students to learn and discover.
A Special Thank You
As you walk the campus grounds you will see multiple outdoor Learning Spaces utilizing seats made from fallen trees. A very special thank you goes to both the Haynie and Terzian families for providing these creative and unique seating arrangements!