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INSET - Outdoor Learning

Would you like to develop outdoor learning at your primary school?

Through our training and support, teachers can develop the skills and confidence to plan creatively and implement exciting outdoor activities throughout the curriculum. Working with you we will deliver INSET to suit the needs of your own school.

Outdoor Learning INSET

  • Why you should do it
  • What you could do
  • How you could manage it

Workshops, Presentations, Networking Opportunities, Signposting to other training, advice and guidance from the experts – the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

 To find out how IOL can help YOUR school deliver Outdoor Learning with Enabling Outdoor Learning INSET email us or call us on 01228 564580.

Outdoor learning can have far reaching benefits for pupils in primary schools including improved motivation, attitudes to learning, and standards of achievement.

The positive impact of outdoor learning was recognised by Ofsted at a school in Lancashire in February 2012. The school receiving an Ofsted judgement of ‘outstanding’.
  • ‘Outdoor learning projects capture pupils’ imagination and make them keen to learn more’
  • ‘Imaginative curriculum planning, particularly for outdoor learning means learning is purposeful, active and fun’
  • ‘The many opportunities for pupils to learn outside the classroom generate an excitement about learning and help all pupils to experience success across many subject areas’
  • ‘The well used outdoor facilities support learning across the curriculum and also allow pupils to find a quiet space to pause and reflect within the busy school day.’

Whatever outdoor space and facilities a school may have, these can be used and developed to provide an exciting learning environment where pupils can engage in stimulating learning experiences outside the classroom – however, without teachers who are confident and empowered to use the outdoors, then these learning opportunities will not be realised to their full potential.

Our expert presenters have run almost
40 successful INSET days all around
the country.

"Very professional. A day full to bursting of info and activities."

"Fantastic delivery – What a treat to actually get to do the activities as opposed to just listen to the theory. The content was spot on."

"I have learned so much. Can’t wait to try things out."

“...thank you so much for last Wednesday, it was fantastic from so many angles. I can honestly say that I have not seen a day of inset yield so much change. Every day I have seen classes in the grounds with staff who would not have done so before.” 
Tim Calvey, Deputy Headmaster, Orley Farm School

“ exceptional start to our academic year.... perfectly tailored to meet our school needs....incredibly well presented and successful day. Since then, all teaching staff have been out and led sessions with groups or whole classes, whilst being able to confidently assess and ma
nage any risks.” 
Sarah Walton, Foundation Subject Manager, Westfield Community School

What we will deliver...
First Steps

  • An introduction to the thinking behind learning outdoors and getting out of the classroom.

Problem Solving & Teambuilding Activities

  • Having the skills to work together as a group underpins most outdoor learning. This workshop will be experiential – you will take part in a range of activities and build a range of ideas that you can use, but also, crucially, look at how you might facilitate the team development process and build up a tool bag that will enable you to build an awareness of team dynamics and how to intervene....or not....appropriately at the right time.

Developing fieldwork - literacy and numeracy as well as geography

  • This session will look at how understanding and interacting with a map can be used to cover far more than just geography. We will examine how you can use your school grounds as a resource for literacy and numeracy and also think about practical management strategies when outside the classroom. The workshop will be fully interactive.

Foraging, Fires and Outdoor Cooking

  • This session will enable us to look at concepts such as risk versus benefit, and show you how to use a fire as a safe part of your outdoor learning programme.
  • We will break down the stages of fire lighting into a progressive set of skills then experiment with a variety of fire based activities, discussing their value, appropriateness and management.

An Introduction to the Environmental Learning Cards – a resource for schools from the Outdoor Education Adviser’s Panel

  • These cards provide a practical and easy to follow series of activities that are designed to engage young people in environmental learning across a variety of curricular areas - around or close to the school. We will examine a selection of the 26 cards, try out and evaluate the activities, and think about how and when you might use them as well as how you might manage your group whilst doing so.

Next Steps

  • Taking the learning from the workshops and applying it back in school - what to do next!


  • Dave Harvey is the current chair of the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres, and is Head of residential provision at the Brathay Trust. Over the past 20 years he has worked with a wide variety of groups, from Year 2 to adult, and delivered INSET across a range of outdoor learning subjects.
  • Tim Deighton is a teacher and youth worker who has been working with groups in the outdoors for most of his professional career. He is the Professional Development Coordinator for the Institute for Outdoor Learning Northern Region and as such, he initiated the Enabling Outdoor Learning programme, being passionate about children playing and learning outside.
Tim and Dave have over the last 4 years delivered nearly 40 successful INSET days all around the country.

IOL EOL events diary

Enabling Outdoor Learning© for Teachers

next EOL events at a glance..... click on each to download the full brochure

  • new dates will appear here when we have them

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