SEED’s Outdoor Classroom Programme (OCP) is an integrated environmental education programme that provides professional development for educators, develops outdoor classrooms and gardens at schools, and inspires and motivates learners to be green leaders of the future.
The programme works by partnering under-resourced schools in South Africa to grow a living, outdoor classroom area as a practical learning activity and as a space for ongoing environment-based education. Linked to the national Department of Education’s curriculum, the Outdoor Classroom supports with hands-on learning opportunities while greening the school environment and demonstrating practical sustainability techniques for food production, green entrepreneurship and community empowerment.
1. TEACHERS FOR PERMACULTURE EDUCATION
A five day course that is a great way of basic skills transfer as well as finding champion teachers to partner for the fuller school-based Outdoor Classroom Program.The value of this course has been confirmed through the 28 times we have facilitated them across the country.
2. SCHOOL-BASED PARTNERSHIPS
Phase 1: Green Beginnings
The Green Beginnings phase grows the ‘Outdoor Classroom’: the outdoor learning space and demonstration site that forms the foundation for the Outdoor Classroom Programme. In creating this living, green classroom on the school grounds, children begin to connect to their surrounding environment, gaining a sense of place, and experience enriched education through practical, hands-on, activity-based learning.
Phase 2 – Green Production
In the Green Production phase, learners are connected to the source of their food through direct experience. On the ground, the emphasis is on building resilient garden systems that require low maintenance and few outside inputs. As the on-ground systems expand, curriculum links are manifold: children experience dynamic lessons through interactive organic gardening, and learn innovative ways to address environmental problems.
Phase 3 - Green Abundance
In the Green Abundance phase, the focus shifts to green entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency. In this phase, SEED works with the school to develop a strategy for self-funding of the garden through garden-based entrepreneurship.