Outdoor-based education is growing in popularity in the United States, especially in Vermont. It has been gaining popularity in Europe for several decades, where some schools spend all day, every day outside. Children who participated in this program have been shown to engage in more creative and independent play, develop better problem solving skills, exhibit improved social and communication skills and an increased sense of stewardship and care for our environment. After observing an outdoor classroom we are in awe of how much respect and love for the program these children have.
Grafton Elementary School K-3 teachers will hold class outside one day per week, all day unless the weather creates a safety concern. We will engage in the same curriculum and meet the same goals as children in other classes in the Supervisory Union, while adding time for outdoor play and exploration. Students will work on independence, imaginative play, problem solving, communication, and teamwork. We will teach the core of our Science units outside during this time, as well as involve Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies. Students will still experience whole group and individualized, smaller group activities, just like the other days of the week. Please visit the K-3 web pages/blogs to learn more about their outdoor classroom usage.