Key policies supporting outdoor learning in Scotland.

Key Policies – Outdoor Learning in Scotland

As part of Learning for Sustainability, outdoor learning is an expectation for all children in Scotland’s education system.

Since 2006 we have moved towards a curriculum and professional standards for teachers that requires outdoor learning to be a ‘regular and progressive experience for all learners’. All school leaders are expected to support this vision ongoing.

We have an expectation for all early years and childcare settings to facilitate ‘free play’, ‘risk and challenge’ and ‘contact with nature’ on a daily basis.

Below are a few key documents that help outline the position for outdoor learning in Scotland.

If you would like to find out more, then take a look at the projects that we have worked on previously, and those we have planned for the future.

Image Source: Malcolm Cochrane


Vision 2030+ Concluding Report of the Learning for Sustainability National Implementation Group (March 2016)

This report was fully endorsed by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills for the Scottish Parliament in September 2017. It makes Learning for Sustainability an entitlement of every child in Scotland from 0-18 years. One of the key recommendations is that every learner should have the opportunity for contact with nature in their school grounds on a daily basis.

Read the full report here.


A Blueprint for 2020: The Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland -Quality Action Plan

The Blueprint increases the entitlement to ELC from 600 hours  to 1140 hours per year from August 2020. Within the document is the statement (action 10) “We will promote greater use of outdoor learning and physical activity by producing a ‘how to’ guide on finding access to suitable outdoor areas and making the most of the opportunities that these offer to promote children’s development”.

Read the blueprint here or the “How to” guide here.


My World Outdoors

Care Inspectorate early years good practice guide. This document has actively encouraged nursery settings in Scotland  to embrace outdoor learning. With the expansion in hours (above) there is an opportunity for people providing and commissioning services to plan now for how access to the outdoors can be built into future provision.

Read My World Outdoors here.

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