Throughout our project we have discovered there are a lot of concerns about the risks involved with taking children outside, and this can be a big barrier to outdoor education. This is understandable as a lot of societal perceptions view the outside world as dangerous to children; however a lot of these dangers are overplayed or easily avoided.
If you can identify the hazards outdoors and address them with suitable control measures, outdoor learning is a very low risk activity. Some teachers have expressed that they find it hard to recognise hazards that may exist out of doors, therefore we have come up with a simple ‘hazard tick list’ with some example hazards you might find in your school grounds.
O Brambles, holly, other prickly plants
O Low hanging branches, dead trees
O Uneven, steep or slippery ground
O Proximity to roads and traffic
O Poisonous fungi and berries
O Open water
O Animal mess
O Rabbit holes or other hidden dips
O Large or sharp rocks