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Teaching Outdoors

Helping teachers deliver outdoor learning in the curriculum

Helping teachers deliver outdoor learning in the curriculum


Taking the curriculum outside can improve attainment, increase engagement, and develop a wide range of skills including problem solving, communication and resilience. Outdoor learning also provides endless opportunities for experiential, contextual and applied education.

At a time when we are increasingly concerned about the physical and emotional wellbeing of our children and young people, and question whether they will leave education with the skills and competencies they will need for the future, outdoor learning brings with it a range of benefits which are now widely evidenced, acknowledged and accepted.

  • Outdoor Learning is at its most potent when it is interwoven within the formal school curriculum.
  • By taking a holistic view of all the environments available – from school yard to mountain tops – we can maximise the learning potential of such spaces and our students.

The Institute has a range of resources to support Teachers in bringing Outdoor Learning into their curriculum. We are strong supporters of the aims of the government’s ‘nature-friendly schools programme’ announced to create school grounds that support learning about the natural world and also keep children happy and healthy.

Teachers Professional Community

A group for teachers or teaching assistants working in schools who are responsible for Outdoor Learning in the school grounds, day visits or on residentials trips.

To access the Teachers Professional Community please join us as a General or Practitioner member and then select the Teachers Professional Community Group.

Resources for Teachers

Horizons Article Archive

Horizons Article Archive

 The searchable database of past Horizons articles provides access to hundreds of articles on outdoor learning practice that can inspire thinking and offer solutions to your problems or challenges.


Enabling Outdoor Learning for Teachers Document

INSET - Enabling Outdoor Learning CPD for Teachers

Designed specifically with schools in mind, IOL provides and accredits CPD events to give teachers the confidence, skills and ideas to take teaching out into school yard and local area.  Learn More...

National Outdoor Learning Award

National Outdoor Learning Award

This FREE downloadable resource from IOL assists learners to develop high levels of motivation, esteem, skill, knowledge and desire to learn. NOLA can be used to recognise and capture the personal development outcomes of participants during an outdoor learning experience.

Outdoor Education Advisors Panel

Outdoor Education Advisors Panel National Guidance

A key resource from OEAP to support planning and delivery that is inclusive of the full range of provision for young people, including by schools, youth services, other formal and informal settings, and provision in the public, private, voluntary and charitable sectors. It covers provision across England and Wales. If you are based in Scotland, please follow this link to the website of the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE)

Health and safety on educational visits

Health and safety on educational visits

Guidance to help schools understand their obligations when undertaking educational visits and other out of school activities. This guidance is for:  school employers, proprietors, headteachers and school staff. It applies to:  academies and free schools, maintained schools, local authorities, independent schools and non-maintained schools

Environmental Learning Handbook

Environmental Learning Handbook

This resource from the Outdoor Education Advisors Panel contains 25 laminated cards that support learning, encourage working together, promote positive attitudes to the natural environment and an understanding of a young person’s place within it.

High Quality Outdoor Learning

High Quality Outdoor Learning

This booklet from the English Outdoor Council brings together 10 key outcomes from progressive high quality outdoor learning. An excellent resource if you need to identify and describe the benefits of outdoor learning for young people.

IOL 7 Steps to CPD

IOL 7 Steps to CPD

Use this valuable FREE resource from IOL to reflect on your professional skills, knowledge and understanding when leading outdoor learning sessions, and to plan and record your CPD activity.

IOL Accredited Courses

IOL Accredited Courses

Are you delivering an alternative curriculum that includes preparing young people to assist and instruct others in outdoor activities? IOL can accredit your course and give industry credibility to your school’s approach.

Join the discussions, get advice from experts

IOL Bushcraft Professional Practice Group

Whether you use a woodland and forest environment with early years, children or young people the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practice Group can support you with guidance, expertise, skills development and access to OFQUAL/Ascentis Bushcraft Awards for your pupils.

IOL Field Studies Professional Practice Group

The specialist voice of those delivering study led programmes in Field Studies or Environmental Education. Their focus is on the academic or practical study of the natural world and the interaction between people and the natural world, most commonly within the subjects of Geography, Geology, Biology and Environmental Science.

IOL Adventure and Environmental Awareness Professional Discussion Group

Benefit from shared knowledge and debate to promote approaches through outdoor learning that will contribute to a sustainable future. Be part of the AEA group and encourage awareness and understanding of and action for the environment, local and global.

IOL Adventure for All Professional Practice Group

The specialist group who promote participation in adventurous activities and outdoor learning by people with disabilities and other special educational needs, as well as to share ideas and agree best practice in the safe delivery of activities.

IOL Home Nation and Regional Groups

As a general or practitioner member of IOL you are automatically a member of a network of outdoor learning professionals in your area. Connect and share good practice, influence IOL policy and lobbying, and take part in subsidised IOL events.



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