The evidence for outdoor learning

Why take learning outside the classroom?

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the benefits of outdoor learning in all areas of education. Much of this is now available to schools and individuals to help them make the best decisions about effective approaches and good value interventions. Devon has an active outdoor and adventure education research community extending from the counties’ universities out to the wider community of schools and practitioners. To find out more and get involved with research projects, join the Peninsula Research in Outdoor Learning hub coordinated by Marjon and Plymouth universities.

What makes effective outdoor learning?

Ofsted’s view of Learning Outside the Classroom.

Educational Endowment Foundation, The impact and cost of Outdoor Adventure Learning – evidence summary.

Natural Connections Demonstration Project. Final report (pdf)

Research Collections

Institute for Outdoor Learning. Collected research reports, evaluations, magazine and journal articles from the UK.

Children and Nature Network. US based online library of peer reviewed research into childhood nature connection.

Reading to get started

Learning through Landscapes – Lesson Plans

TES – outdoor learning ideas for primary school

10,000 top outdoor learning ideas

Institute for outdoor learning resources

Field Studies Council – Learning resources

National Association for Environmental Education

Education Outside – American based website with applicable ideas


There’s no such thing as bad weather

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris and the associated Explorers Guide John Muir guide

101 Things Kids Do Outside

Dirty Teaching – A Beginners Guide to Learning Outdoors

Educating Outside – Curriculum linked learning for teachers