The Learning Outside the Classroom initiative has begun

By Rochelle Whitty, education editor | 03 December 2008

The Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) manifesto was published in 2006 by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families after public consultation. The manifesto vision is that every young person will experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances.

An image of a school boy making a wooden gate from long twigs.

Student working on a project at The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Liverpool © CABE / Dave Morris

Learning Outside the Classroom is about raising achievement through an organised, powerful approach to learning in which direct experience is seen as important. This is not only about what we learn, but about how and where we learn.

Research on learning outside the classroom and its impact on child development has found wide-ranging benefits for young people. There is evidence that by experiencing the world beyond the classroom young people:

  • attain higher levels of knowledge and skills
  • improve their physical health and increase their motor skills
  • socialise and interact in new and different ways with their peers and adults
  • show improved attention and enhanced self-concept and self-esteem, and better mental well-being
  • change their environmental behaviour and their values and attitudes.

The LOtC manifesto has been signed by over 1,100 organisations and individuals. It aims to:

  • provide young people with a wide range of experiences outside the classroom, including extended school activities and residential visits
  • provide easy access to information, knowledge, expertise, guidance and resources
  • improve training and professional development opportunities for teachers.
An image of school children walking outside beside a building.

Students taking learning outside the classroom at Hadley Learning Community © CABE / Dave Morris

Teachers can gain support for lesson planning and projects outside the classroom using the resources and information available on the LOtC website.

The website is a resource for professionals working with young people aged up to 19 to provide high-quality learning experiences outside the classroom. The website offers:

  • ‘out and about’ guidance and information
  • modules for continuing professional development
  • related news and events
  • case studies
  • resources
  • links to appropriate organisations offering LOtC experiences
  • information on the LOtC quality badge scheme.

Visit the article on the Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge scheme for more information.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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