Background and Objectives:Research shows that the presence of students in nature and outdoors reduces stress, increases vitality and mobility, increases concentration, etc. Therefore, children should not be deprived of the blessing of being in this environment. Today, due to the increase in construction in Iran and the development of the culture of apartment living in courtyards, it is smaller and in most cases unusable, and has given way to a terrace in each apartment unit. This has limited the child's contact with nature and natural environments, and since children often spend most of their time in school after home, the school yard can provide a good place for them to spend time in nature. Spending time in the school yard, whether it is a waste of recreational or educational opportunities, can partially compensate for the lack of connection between children and the outdoors. School yard is a part of the physical space which can have a significant impact on raising the level of learning, growth and education of students. Neglecting these spaces in recent decades represents the necessity of attention to this issue. Therefore, the present study seeks to emphasize the importance of open spaces in schools in order to improve the current conditions of schools according to the needs of students as the main beneficiaries.
Method and Materials: In order to meet these goals, descriptive-analytical method based on library studies and field studies was used. Eight elementary girls’ schools were randomly selected and studied in Tabriz city. In this paper, it has been tried to use collaborative methods such as drawing, writing, and interviewing students about their expectations of the school's yard. A total of 280students were interviewed and their paintings were examined. The data were coded in MAXQDA11 software and finally, to assess the students’ satisfaction the paired t-test and Wilcoxon test were run using SPSS software.
Findings: The results indicate that there is a significant difference between the state of the school yard and its ideal state. Finally, some suggestions are provided to improve the quality of the school yards.The findings of the study could be used in designing elementary schools such as: increasing the connection between outdoors and indoors, division of functions, using of the flexible materials with pretty colors on the floor and walls, and using of the flexible furniture.
Conclusion: According to the research and research findings, it can be concluded that the environment of children can act as a deterrent or facilitator in their learning, growth and development. The rate of learning and development of the child increases when they connects with the environment, the open space and nature. Therefore, by creating a suitable environment and in accordance with their opinion, the desire of children to be present in the environment should be increased. A key factor in designing is the ability of children to create their own learning environments, rather than being in an environment where everything is pre-determined. In response to the first question of the research, we can mention the increase of sports equipment and attention to quality and observance of scale by 97% and the increase of greenery by 96%, which have the largest share among students' demands. In response to other research questions, it should be said that there is a difference between their demands from the school yard and the current situation, and with the solutions proposed in this research, their demands can be approached to achieve ideal conditions.