Your charity for Scotland’s environment

School Grounds

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

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 - have a look and get involved.

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. Have a look.

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 Groun

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.

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.

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.