Outdoor learning

There’s something special about learning in the outdoors. We find that young people – especially those that struggle in a traditional classroom environment – thrive when given hands-on tasks in an outdoor setting. Everyone benefits from being better connected with nature, including teachers!

We work with schools and colleges to provide those inspirational outdoor learning opportunities for young people. Linking closely with the curriculum, we provide environmental education and training that stimulates the senses, challenges young people to think creatively and helps improve wellbeing through contact with nature.

Our projects can be delivered in school grounds, in local parks and green spaces or in our dedicated learning centres.

Outdoor learning centres

Groundwork manages a range of outdoor learning centres where schools can visit and young people have an inspirational experience. Some offer a full residential stay while others are ideal places for day visits to experience nature and learn about environmental issues.

These include:

Alternative Curriculum

We provide alternative learning experiences for those young people struggling to engage with mainstream education, working with schools and pupil referral units. We’ve found that practical environmental projects are an especially successful way of re-engaging young people who have lost confidence in their abilities and the benefits that education can provide. This kind of training includes embedded literacy and numeracy, and guidance to help identify further training or work goals.

Outdoor classrooms within schools

Every school needs access to natural spaces that can provide a setting for outdoor learning. Our landscape architects work with schools to redesign school grounds to facilitate teaching outdoors, including helping to establish school allotments and orchards, creating nature habitats and teaching spaces. We can involve the whole school community in the process, allowing pupils to take a leading role in greening their school while engaging parents and local business volunteers.

Supporting school visits

In many areas our experienced educational workers can support teachers by planning and managing off-site visits – for example leading forest school sessions, expeditions to sites of environmental interest or trips to learn about local industrial heritage.