The government launches its Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto today at the Natural History Museum in London.
It is the first time a government has committed itself to making learning outside the classroom an integral part of school life. Alan Johnson, Education and Skills Secretary, will urge schools to use the educational opportunities on their doorsteps and further afield to inspire and motivate pupils.
'Learning outside the classroom should be at the heart of every school's curriculum and ethos,' said Mr Johnson.
'I believe that every young person should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, therefore learning outside the classroom should be at the heart of every school's curriculum and ethos.'
The Natural History Museum has been welcoming school visits since the nineteenth century and each year welcomes over 130,000 4-19-year-old students from 1,940 schools across the UK.
'We welcome the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto,' said Dr Michael Dixon, Museum Director.
'We are pledging to develop our learning activities, especially our work on engaging young people with science, and encouraging them to continue studying this vital subject.'
The Museum's unique resources include over 70 million specimens, 350 scientists, 50 educators, the galleries and a website, and all complement the classroom.
Dr Dixon added, 'we have a wide range of curriculum-linked, fun learning experiences for all ages and abilities, ranging from interactive story-telling with puppets for under 5s to international youth summits on global issues such as climate change for A level students.'