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Improving your school’s outdoor space

Investing in the grounds of your school has hugely positive impacts on a range of things, from behaviour to grades. It’s more than simply making the area look nice, it is greatly beneficial for the health and development of children. Some of the benefits include:

Encouraging a more active lifestyle

Growing organic food and healthy eating

Hands on learning and skills that can be applied across the curriculum such as maths, geography, design, English and science

Learning outdoors suits many children better than always being sat in a classroom environment

Encourages social and teamwork skills

Improves concentration

There are so many different ways of utilising an outside space and after ensuring that a risk assessment is carried out, the only limit is your creativity and imagination. Here are some ideas:


A lot of schools decide to use their outdoor space to encourage more activity. Whilst specialist exercise and play equipment can be costly, similar results can be achieved with far cheaper natural or recycled materials that also encourage activity and exercise. There’s no need to worry about the weather ruining your use of the outdoors for teaching either. Many schools choose to install Tensile Fabric Structures to provide durable and cost-effective shelter. For more information, visit https://www.spatialstructures.com/building-systems-explained

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Natural Play Area

Formal play equipment is not always necessary and certainly not the only way to play. There are tons of benefits to play with natural materials – like tree trunks, sand, grass banks and small boulders, for example. Children love natural elements, and these can be installed in a cost-effective and exciting way, allowing children the freedom to explore and use their imaginations.

Nature Trails

These are the perfect way to make use of outdoor areas and are fairly simple to incorporate if there are already existing hedges, gardens and trees, for example. Creating a nature trail is a lot of fun, allowing kids to explore in a safe environment with information posts and different challenges along the way.

Vegetable Patch

With such a focus on healthy eating and knowing where our food comes from, using this space for growing food will help to foster healthy eating habits and nutrition education. It also comes in very handy for cooking lessons and teaching science.

Bird boxes

Not only do these look attractive but they are a great way to attract lots of different local wildlife to your school. You can let the children craft their own and even consider putting a camera inside for regular updates during nesting season.

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Bug hotels

Insects are just as vital to our local habitats, so why not create places for mini beasts to take up residence? Whether you choose to invest in a purpose-built structure or simply leave a pile of logs or sticks in the garden, this is a great teaching resource and support for local wildlife.



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