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It’s been a tumultuous year for learners and teachers alike. Online learning, constant disruption and rocketing levels of uncertainty are resulting in a disconnect from everything we know and hold dear. Children are returning to school with a deficit - educationally, socially and emotionally - but the good news is that help is literally right outside your front door.

A recent study shows that spending just two hours in nature significantly boosts your health and wellbeing.[1] In fact, many studies show that regular ‘green time’ reduces stress, anxiety and depression, producing significant improvements in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning ability, academic performance, creativity and mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

The natural world also offers children an opportunity to develop key emotional skills through adventure and play, allowing them to regulate stress and reset in a healthy environment. But one recent study shows that a fifth of UK children do not play outside on an average day[2], with significant impact on their health and wellbeing: according to the Health Survey for England 2017, 20.1% of pupils in Year 6 were obese, with a further 14.2% classed as overweight[3]. And according to Young Minds, one in eight children – roughly three in every classroom – have a diagnosable mental health disorder, which will affect them in later life[4].

It’s critical to embed an appreciation for nature when children are young. The earlier they learn to love the outdoors and understand its benefits, the more likely they are to continue this relationship as adults.

Outdoor adventure residentials are aimed at young learners, and they’re designed to do exactly this. More than just boosting health, they are a simple, safe way to help young people to grow into inquisitive, resilient and social adults while building their confidence and developing their communication skills for life. They embrace nature, providing a meaningful, safe opportunity for learners and educators alike to reconnect, have some fun and escape from the stresses brought on by the pandemic.

They’re also a great way to take the curriculum beyond the academic, technical and vocational to encompass character building, in accordance with Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework[5]. They build key personal skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, adaptability, motivation and organisational skills – all delivered by expert, passionate and highly qualified outdoor staff.

Outdoor learning is an ideal opportunity to help children to reignite their passion and energy for learning and recover from the many setbacks that COVID-19 has created. It can also equip them to protect our planet, giving them the real-world experience they need to develop a bond with the natural environment and learn the responsibilities of stewardship.

Entrust Outdoors Team has been delivering outdoor residential programmes to schools in Staffordshire and the surrounding areas for the past sixty years, enhancing skills, promoting positive wellbeing and inspiring the UK’s next generation of learners. Deposits are now lower than ever before, reservations can be deferred or refunded, and all of Entrust’s outdoor centres are strictly COVID-19 compliant. Through a range of activities, including climbing, canoeing, bushcraft, biking, off-site expeditions and more, Entrust is providing young people with a rich and varied outdoor learning experience.

To find out more about 2021 residentials, please contact us.

Chris Dillon

Chris Dillon – Head of Outdoors

Chris has worked in the outdoor education sector for over 30 years, 10 of these leading the Entrust Outdoor Education Service. Chris leads a team of highly motivated and well qualified outdoor activity and education professionals, holding overall responsibility for all aspects of business performance. Provides strategic direction for the organisation and engages directly with a wide range of key partners and stakeholders to ensure outcomes of the greatest value are delivered. Chris is passionate about outdoor education and truly believes outdoor learning experiences boost confidence, build character and promote positive wellbeing.  In his own time, Chris loves to get outdoors, especially to the mountains.

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/25/three-quarters-of-uk-children-spend-less-time-outdoors-than-prison-inmates-survey

[3] https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn03336/

[4] https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/mental-health-stats/

[5] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/education-inspection-framework

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