New trend takes students' learning outside

New trend takes students' learning outside
(Source: CBS News)

(CBS News) - Some schools close in cold weather - but one nursery in Britain never shuts its doors - because it doesn't have any.  It's the UK's first entirely outdoor pre-school and it's part of a new trend that takes the learning outside.

When it's story time at Dandelion Nursery, students take a seat in the mud. And when it's time to play, the only toys children have are the ones they make themselves.

Two former primary school teachers created this unique outdoor learning experience for children aged 2 to 8 in a small village in east England.

"The outdoor environment is so incredibly rich - the amount of learning in a small piece of earth - you can hit every area of the foundation stage," Hayley Room, who is a co-founder at Dandelion Education, said.

From building forts - to forging friendships - teachers say the learning never stops.

"If you want a big huge bus or car,  then you have to get your friends to help you drag the logs, move the straw bales," Emma, who is another co-founder of Dandelion Education, said.

Philosophy is also part of the curriculum. Students wiggle their finger when they want to speak in order to make their ideas heard.

And if you pass judgement on what the children say, then you can silence them because they think that there's a right or wrong answer.

Rain or shine, everything happens outdoors including lunchtime.

Teachers say their students are resilient and learning more independence with each new day.

The outdoor school was named Britain's best nursery this year and the founders are planning to open a second nursery in the new year.