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Outdoor Learning

In Depth

Early years food: Nourishing growing minds and bodies

Childhood obesity continues to be a major problem across the UK. Charlotte Goddard explores the role nurseries and childcare settings can play in establishing healthy eating habits from an early age.

Who are the new youth workers?

Funding cuts mean youth workers are increasingly taking jobs outside traditional youth work settings. Joe Lepper explores how roles are changing and what that means for young people.

The policy context for outdoor learning

Policy framework around outdoor learning in natural environments; government initiatives; and the increasing body of evidence on how outdoor learning improves outcomes.

Getting out and about

Advocates of outdoor learning highlight a wide variety of benefits for children and young people. Charlotte Goddard looks at the evidence and explores a range of projects that teach new skills.

Getting away from it all

Residential trips have formed a core part of youth provision over many years. Joe Lepper explores how these sometimes life-changing experiences have evolved to meet the needs of young people today.

Excellent adventures

Twenty years since the Lyme Bay tragedy in which four young canoeists died, outdoor learning activities are enjoying a revival, says Charlotte Goddard, with proven benefits to children's long-term wellbeing

Outcomes for adolescents

A "framework of outcomes for young people", developed by The Young Foundation, aims to help the youth sector prove the impact of its work. Charlotte Goddard examines how three charities have been trialling it

Careers: Outdoor education worker

Outdoor education workers need practical skills to back up their qualifications, finds Charlotte Goddard

Good Practice

How young people explore outdoors to thrive

Residentials offer vulnerable children the chance to try new experiences, improve their resilience, and build a stronger sense of themselve.

Young ambassadors use green spaces to bring their communities together

The national community charity's Young Green Ambassadors network developed an awareness week that promoted equal access to green spaces.

How children learn through nature

Project seeks to improve wellbeing and create a generation that cares about the environment.

Inspections Clinic: Retaining an 'outstanding' rating

An 'outstanding' Ofsted judgment can take years of hard work. With nearly one in five early years settings having achieved this, what can leaders do to maintain the momentum, asks Jo Stephenson.

Cambridge Day Nursery

City-centre nursery prioritises outdoor play, with the garden a seamless part of the setting.

Participation in Action: Creative camps help to give vulnerable young people new leadership skills

Charity offering personal development opportunities for vulnerable 14- to 18-year-olds has developed a programme aimed at building young people's confidence and developing leadership skills.

Woodland Nursery

London-based nursery inspired by the Forest School approach, where most of the learning takes place outdoors

Outward Bound Trust - Transitions

Five-day residential that builds the communication and teamwork skills of children about to enter secondary school.

National Citizen Service - Inspira

NCS programme in the north west of England, which includes an adventure week at an outdoor activity centre.

Jamie's Farm

Residential project connecting young people at risk of exclusion with farming and animals, to improve self-esteem, soft skills and behaviour at school.

Skills for the Job: How to run outdoor activities

Making the outdoors an everyday experience, whether for young children or teenagers, can have huge benefits for all involved.

How wilderness learning holds lessons in living

Young people struggling to move on with their lives gain valuable new skills through Venture Trust's outdoor learning programme.

How outdoor learning puts young people in touch with natural world

Hastings Wild Things boosts the wellbeing of children, young people and adults by helping them enjoy nature and the outdoors.



Special Report: Outdoor Learning - Research evidence

These summaries of key research on outdoor learning have been produced with the help of Lucy Maynard, head of research at Brathay Trust; Dr Chris Loynes, reader in outdoor studies at University of Cumbria; and Jim Burt, outdoor learning programme manager at Natural England.