Celebrating Outdoor Learning Opportunities Across the District

June 17, 2021

Originally Published: April 26, 2021

On your next visit to one of the schools in the Langley School District, you may notice a new classroom but it’s not within four walls. Approximately, two dozen schools across the District are benefitting from fresh, nature-inspired, outdoor learning spaces on site thanks to support from the federal government as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Otter Elementary was one of the sites who had an outdoor learning space installed. The structure consists of a series of log benches, and logs for tables, with a wooden lectern at the front. Kyle Featherstone, Principal at North Otter says it “allows another opportunity for our classes to get outside, enjoy the weather, and also do some really great learning.”

“The students were really excited when the trucks pulled up and they started unloading some of the new classroom equipment,” explains Featherstone. “They were really excited to test it out, and within the first few hours of us opening it up to the whole school, we had a variety of classes come to test it out.”

“They use the benches for reading time, some small group instruction,” explains Featherstone. “we even have teachers use it for science experiments and different things to get outside, to have a change of scenery, and also to get kids excited about a new learning opportunity.”

“We’re a rural community at North Otter,” adds Featherstone, “and we have a lot of strong ties to agriculture and outdoor learning. So this is another opportunity for us to embrace those roots and that piece of our identity.”

In addition, to these open-air learning spaces, every elementary and middle school is receiving outdoor kits to enhance curriculum and increase engagement.

“This is a huge celebration of the work we have been doing to support outdoor learning. With the nice weather and the last few months of the school year, many of our schools will have everything in place to take advantage of opportunities to take learning outside,” says Woody Bradford, Assistant Superintendent of Schools.

The outdoor kits are being put together by our Instructional Services department. The outdoor classrooms are being installed by our Facilities and Maintenance department.

Thank you to students, staff, and the school community for supporting these exciting projects.