Since the return of schools after the lockdowns in the UK, there have been several reports of worsening pupil behaviour in school. In October 2020, two-thirds of teachers made this report and after the second lockdown, that number seems to have risen. While some have disputed this, there does seem to be some anecdotal evidence for this.
Poor behaviour, if left unchecked, can have consequences. The first thing is that attainment levels can drop. This can affect school performance in general and even those students who are behaving can suffer.
Another problem is that bullying can rise. This can cause anxiety, depression and even loneliness in victims.
Yet there are simple fixes that teachers and other school support staff can make to manage the worsening behaviour and improve the general school environment. One of these is by taking more time outside, whether on a playing field or under a school canopy. There are several reasons for this.
1. More Space
While in lockdown, children were confined to smaller spaces, such as their houses and bedrooms for longer periods than they were used to. Therefore, many are just looking to escape the confines and feel more space and any time learning outside can help with that.
2. More Social
Again children suffered greatly with lockdown as it was harder for them to socialise. Even now social limits are still in place and children might feel frustrated at not being able to socialise with friends. Outside learning allows for a more relaxed and social environment that can give them this sense.
3. Let Off Some Energy
Children have lots of energy and sometimes they just need to burn this off. Finding learning activities outside that require them to be outside on a field, under a school canopy or in a garden where they have to move about can help them use that energy.
4. Mental Health
There are several benefits of being outside that can help someone with their mental health. Bad behaviour can be a symptom of stress, anxiety or another mental health problem. Outside time has been shown to alleviate these problems and can help in recovery.
If you’re experiencing bad behaviour in pupils, some time outside can be one of the best cures. You can often find that some supervised learning on a field, under a school canopy or somewhere else can help relax students and improve learning and behaviour to make a school environment more enjoyable.
Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
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