Outdoor learning space fosters curiosity through nature – OECD Newsroom

Sherwood Forest provides a quiet space for students to be creative and curious about nature. (Courtesy of Fullerton School District)

Unused land that was part of the Orangethorpe Primary School campus has been transformed into an outdoor learning space that will provide more opportunities for students to express their creativity.

The school held a celebration on September 27 to unveil the outdoor space called Sherwood Forest to its staff, students and district leaders.

Sherwood Forest

“We’ve never had an outdoor learning space,” Principal Deborah Bennett said. “The possibilities are endless for what teachers and students can accomplish in Sherwood Forest. It’s a fantastic opportunity to take learning to a whole new level.

The learning space is an extension of Orangethorpe’s goal of Curiosity Project: The Art of Science and Nature, which offers every student the opportunity to engage in hands-on, experiential learning. Students are encouraged to be curious in their learning, to form new ideas and to make cognitive connections.

“It offers a non-traditional approach to learning outside the four walls of the classroom and allows students to explore nature in a whole new way,” Bennett said.

The space includes a platform that will allow teachers and students to present to their classes, as well as collaboration benches.

“I think this space will alleviate anxiety, behavioral issues and stress for students and staff because they are not confined to a classroom and the uniformity of desks and chairs,” Bennett said.

Sherwood Forest is a seed capital project awarded through a grant from the Phelps Foundation. The initial funding kick-started additional funds and time dedicated to the project.

The Fullerton School District is located in northern Orange County and serves more than 11,600 students in transitional kindergarten through eighth grade. The district includes 21 schools, 15 elementary schools, two K-8 elementary schools, three middle schools, and a distance education and home school model.


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