Since spring 2019 we have been running a school farm in the nearby municipality of Otice. On a plot of land of approx. 2 ha, we have built an outdoor class, crop beds, facilities for teaching in natural surroundings and dwellings and pastures for the small domestic animals which we breed at the farm.
We endeavour to enrich the educational concept with the natural-insight branch, with the aim of awakening in the children an interest in nature, to bring real experience to the school by showing how a garden is started, how to cultivate crops from seeds through to harvesting, what the traditional domestic animals are and how to take care of them, what symbiosis there is in nature and, last but not least, by leading children towards practical skills which they gain whilst maintaining the garden and whilst caring for plants and animals. We want to teach children respect for nature and its products, but also support work habits, manual skill, patience and, last but not least, respect for human work.
Besides these benefits, the farm also offers the opportunity to stay and learn outdoors. The pupils do not only learn th e necessary skills in the spaces of the classroom whilst sitting in benches and listening to the teacher explaining. We would thereby deny them the natural desire to know using all the senses, we would limit the already minimal stay outside which is characteristic of today’s generation of children. * “Czech children spend somewhere between 3.5 and 5 hours daily in front of the television screen or computer,” says the publication Děti venku v přírodě: ohrožený druh? (tr. Children outside in the country: an endangered species?) by Petr Daniš (more on the publication HERE).
It has been proved that teaching outdoors has positive effects on the general attention of the pupils, it increases their motivation, learning then interests them more, and markedly greater efficiency is achieved. Such a method of learning at the same time strengthens positive relationships between the pupils and teachers in the classroom, and has a proven positive influence on the health and the prevention of illness in children. Any teaching subject, field and skill can be taught outside. We can count, measure, compare, seek, analyse, read, write, draw, produce and much more. You can truly learn anything outside!