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Research Reports

Natural Connections: Identifying the fundamental challenges to outdoor learning in schools

The Natural Connections Demonstration project, was a four-year initiative to help school children (particularly those from disadvantaged areas) experience the benefits of the natural environment by empowering teachers to use the outdoors to support everyday learning.   The project, which was funded by Natural England, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Historic England and delivered by Plymouth University, was the largest project of its kind in England and helped more than 40,000 primary and secondary school pupils get out of their classrooms and into the outdoors.
The Natural Connections project focused mainly on areas of deprivation in Plymouth, Torbay, Bristol, Cornwall and Somerset, working in both urban and rural schools with varying school grounds and access to local green spaces. These areas are now developing innovative ways to continue supporting outdoor learning across the school networks they have established through the project..
A full copy of the Natural Connections project report can be downloaded from Natural England’s Access to Evidence publications catalogue.  An 11-minute film has been produced to accompany the publication of the project report.  The film highlights the achievements of the project and includes contributions from teachers and pupils talking about their positive experience.
 

Effectiveness of Outdoor Learning Review.

The Blagrave Trust commissioned this review and report in early 2015 to support the development of a better evidence base for Outdoor Learning in the UK. The work had the explicit aim of assisting funders, policy makers, researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders in engaging with Outdoor Learning. UCL and Giving Evidence conducted the review, steered by a cross section of practitioners and researchers from the sector and chaired by IOL. The report was published in November 2015.

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Getting Active Outdoors: A study of Demography, Motivation, Participation and Provision in Outdoor Sport and Recreation in England

This report examines the demand and supply of outdoor provision and takes an in-depth look at the profile of the outdoor consumer, taking account of demography, motivation, participation and provision in outdoor sport in England.  The potential to grow the market is huge.  This insight will help us to appreciate the size of the market and the opportunities to increase the number of people who get active outdoors.  Customer behaviour and motivation, as well as the scale and reach of supply side provision are considered.

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Learning Away: Research into the effectiveness of residential education provision

1. The Project
2. An interim report
3. Presentation to IOL / AHOEC / OEAP on implications

Leadership for embedding outdoor learning within the primary curriculum - report by NCSL. This study considers a range of leadership strategies that can be employed to successfully embed the use of the outdoors in children’s learning throughout their primary school education. Within the current context of the potential for greater flexibility in curriculum design, school leaders have the opportunity to exert greater influence over their particular school’s approach. This might include a greater emphasis on learning outdoors.

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Feedback Report for the Institute for Outdoor Learning from the National Stakeholder Engagement Event (Workshop) hosted by the Independent Panel on Forestry.

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Recessions signals return of outdoor play, survey says. Outdoor play is making a come back as cash-strapped parents swap spending on DVDs and the cinema for free days out in the park, research suggests.

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HSE Working Group Report - Post AALA Regime. 28th September 2011 saw the first meeting of the HSE working group to ‘develop practical post-AALA arrangements to support the recommendation within Common Sense Common Safety’.  The group is likely to meet 2 or 3 more times in order to have developed a practical way forward by the end of this calendar year.

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IOL Insights

IOL Insights - June 2016
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IOL Insights - March 2016
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IOL Insights - December 2015
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IOL Insights - September 2015
Voice / Guidance / Community / Professional Development
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IOL Insights - June 2015
What we have been doing on your behalf in the last few weeks
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