The easiest first step to taking pupils outdoors is in your own school grounds. Across the UK more than half of all outdoor learning takes place within school grounds.
Here are some resources to assist with developing your School Grounds:
Beautiful Scotland is a community environmental improvement campaign run by Keep Scotland Beautiful in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society under the Britain in Bloom campaign. The programme supports community groups across Scotland to improve their local environment. Many Beautiful Scotland groups work with local schools.
Garden For Life Resources
The Garden for Life Forum is a partnership of Scottish environmental organisations working together to increase enjoyment and understanding of wildlife in gardens. The forum has produced seven guides on gardening to get you started.
Place Standard Tool - How Good is Our Place?
The Place Standard Tool provides a simple framework to structure conversations about place. It allows you to think about both physical elements of a place (buildings, spaces, and transport links) and social aspects (for example whether people feel they have a say in decision making). A useful tool for older pupils to assess their School Grounds.
BBC Terrific Scientific - Trees Investigation
As part of the BBC science campaign Terrific Scientific, this investigation will help your pupils to think and work like a scientist, investigating why carbon storage is important through the context of trees in their school grounds.
Grounds for Learning – Outdoor Lesson Plans
Grounds for Learning helps children to connect with nature, become more active, learn outdoors, develop social skills and have fun.
Browse hundreds of outdoor lesson ideas for outdoor learning, across all stages, many closely linked to the Curriculum for Excellence.
Grounds for Learning - Teaching Maths Outdoors
These resources look at how mathematical thinking and learning mathematical skills can be explored outdoors and is packed with curriculum-linked activities.
RHS Campaign for School Gardening - Build a Plastic Bottle Greenhouse
A popular activity with pupils, build a functioning greenhouse from plastic bottles. A great example of Waste Minimisation and plenty of opportunity for curricular links to maths and design.
International School Grounds Month Activity Guide
International School Grounds Month is an annual celebration of school grounds around the world in May. This Guide is full of ideas to get the most out of your grounds, and was written by 51 organisations from 21 countries.
Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Education
The RCHS provides lectures, workshops, sharing learning, providing advice, information and practical demonstrations on gardening for young people and educators.
All About School Grounds
Recent research by Learning Through Landscapes finds that well designed school grounds can improve behaviour, reduce bullying and cut vandalism. Improving your school’s outdoor space enhances pupils' self-esteem and improves both attainment and attitudes towards learning.
Developing your grounds provides opportunities for parents and community members to get involved with the school and contribute their time and skills. Taking charge of developing their own space gives young people a sense of belonging which reduces vandalism. The act of regenerating school grounds is good for pupils, giving them on-the-job experience of crucial life skills such as design, budgeting, sourcing and project-management, and encourages responsibility for their surroundings.
On top of all these benefits, developing your school grounds supports pupils’ entitlement to Learning for Sustainability - 'a whole school approach that enables the school and its wider community to build the values, attitudes, knowledge, skills and confidence needed to develop practices and take decisions which are compatible with a sustainable and equitable world.' Learning outdoors allows pupils to take responsibility for both themselves and for their learning in ways that are different to learning indoors.
Case Study - Carstairs Primary School
Carstairs Primary School's outdoor learning day is an excellent example of using School Grounds for learning. Read more.
Case Study - Cadder Primary School
Pupils at Cadder Primary School chose School Grounds as one of their Eco-Schools topics and shared their work with us as part of their most recent Green Flag Award application. Read more.