Western Australia’s outdoor play champion Nature Play WA has co-ordinated the country’s biggest-ever Outdoor Classroom Day – registering over 308,000 Australian children to take part in the global initiative today.
Now in its third year, Outdoor Classroom Day is a worldwide movement where lessons are held outside to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play.
Locally, more than 80,000 Western Australian children – including more than 45 per cent of WA’s primary schools – will take their classes outside today.
The Australian campaign is co-ordinated by Nature Play WA – the State’s leading body dedicated to increasing the time children spend in nature and unstructured play outdoors.
Many of the schools participating in Outdoor Classroom Day – both in Australia and around the world – will also be utilising a learning resource developed in Western Australia by Nature Play WA and the WA Department of Education.
Launched in July, the My Outdoor Classroom resource is now being used in 36 countries around the world, including the United States, China, Germany, India, Lebanon, Peru, and Vietnam. It has been downloaded by more than 4,100 classrooms globally.
My Outdoor Classroom includes a downloadable ‘Nature Passport’ activity booklet and detailed lesson plans for outdoor classes.
As stated by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
“Outdoor Classroom Day is a terrific way to get kids active outdoors and learning about nature, and I commend Nature Play WA for their nation-leading role in this space.
“Not only has Nature Play WA co-ordinated Australia’s biggest Outdoor Classroom Day to date, the My Outdoor Classroom resource – developed right here in WA – is now being used around the world.”
As stated by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training Samantha Rowe:
“It’s really important for children to play outdoors and also have the opportunity to participate in outdoor learning.
“It’s also known that play and being outdoors is extremely good for children’s wellbeing. This is important in the context where more than 70 per cent of Western Australian children aren’t getting the minimum recommendations for physical activity.”
As stated by Nature Play WA CEO Griffin Longley:
“Outdoor Classroom Day and the Nature Passport resource are designed to celebrate and inspire outdoor play and learning in our schools so it can become part of every day in the future.
“A huge number of schools and early learning centres are taking part in the Outdoor Classroom Day campaign every year, which is a clear sign that the WA community is right behind a return to outdoor learning.
“We wanted to create a resource to support educators and families, and encourage children to investigate nature, to play, create, imagine and have some fun while learning.”