By connecting children with the earth and each other, we are creating a conscious generation committed to a sustainable future.
Nature School of York is a community dedicated to spirited learning, imagination, and outdoor adventures. Our approach is holistic as we focus on the growth of the whole child and foster a sense of belonging to and appreciation of the natural world.
Why Nature School?
There is a growing body of research that links nature-based learning with higher scores on standardized tests, improved physical fitness, a more developed understanding of science and math concepts, reduced effects of ADHD, and better overall academic performance.
Nature-based curriculum encourages healthy minds and bodies. Being connected to nature is wired in the essence of every human being. Busy modern lives have left many people, including children, disconnected from this core. At Nature School of York, children learn with all of their senses and build a lasting connection with nature. Our program provides a complete framework of skills that children need to be prepared for life.
Benefits of Learning Outdoors
Better Test Scores
Children who are taught in an outdoor setting – like an outdoor classroom – score higher on standardized test scores than children taught in a traditional classroom. Why? These students are developing the problem-solving and critical thinking skills often overlooked in traditional classrooms.
Higher Grade Point Averages
Again, like standardized test scores, children who go outside to learn often have higher grade point averages than their traditionally taught peers.
Decreased Behavior Problems
Anecdotal evidence has shown time and again that children who are engaged in learning in an outdoor setting are less likely to exhibit behavior problems. We know this to be true!
While the symptoms for ADD and ADHD vary widely, they can include difficulty paying attention, inability to listen, distractibility, inability to stay seated, and impulsivity. All children – regardless if they have ADD/ ADHD or not, have improved focus when they are engaged in outside learning.
Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills
When children play outside in an unstructured setting, they are free to create new games, engage in dramatic play, or explore freely. The regular use of creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in an unstructured, outside setting means that children are more likely to have these skills in the classroom and their future careers.
Spending just 30 minutes a day outside will help children sleep better at night. The benefits of sleep are huge – increased cognitive function, reduced occurrence of heart disease and diabetes, and an improved mood.
Children who play outside play harder and play longer. All this extra movement and play equates to burning more calories. In turn, this leads to a reduced occurrence of obesity. Additionally, spending time in nature allows the body to get the vitamin D it needs to thrive.
Cortisol is a stress hormone. Spending time in nature significantly reduces stress and cortisol levels. Simply put, our students are happier human beings because they are outside!
Increased Immune Function
Spending time outside playing in nature, gardening, and exploring helps expose us to an increased biodiversity of “good” germs and bacteria that strengthen our immune response. By interacting with the soil and those elements found in nature, our bodies have an improved recovery time when faced with overcoming illness.