LtL is privileged to be working alongside numerous partners to host the ISGA conference.

International School Grounds Conference 2020

LtL is privileged to be organising the International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) conference in Stirling, Scotland on the 23-25th September 2020.

A founder member of this professional network, we will be working with the ISGA board and a number of partners and supporters to deliver a 3-day conference of global significance.

This event will bring together the best in outdoor learning and play in school grounds and beyond. Ideal for early years educators, teachers and outdoor educators, we will have flexible options for attendance.

If you would like to find out more about our work, then take a look at the projects we’ve worked on, and those we have planned for the future.

Why are we in Scotland?

The UK has a long history of outdoor learning, including school and nursery grounds. As a founder member of the ISGA, LtL hosted the inaugural 2010 ISGA conference in Winchester, southern England.

Scotland in recent years has seen real development of policy, curriculum and practice in outdoor learning. Central to a lot of this work has been LtL’s Scottish team, formerly known as Grounds for Learning (GfL). Since 1995, the ‘Grounds for Learning Project’ has led research, training and thinking on school grounds use.

It is because of these developments that we want to bring you to the UK and in particular Scotland, to share our journey.

Scotland now has in place:

  • The Scottish “Curriculum for Excellence” suggests that ‘outdoors is often a better place to learn’ and that ‘Outdoor learning is a regular and progressive experience for all learners’.
  • “Learning for Sustainability” is an entitlement of all learners and central to our Curriculum for Excellence – and outdoor learning is included within that.
  • Scotland’s Standards for Teacher Registration require all teachers to “Use outdoor learning opportunities, including direct experiences of nature and other learning within and beyond the school boundary” and “…where appropriate, actively seek outdoor learning opportunities”.
  • Scotland has a play policy which states that all children have the right to free play in natural environments on a daily basis.
  • Our Early Years framework and Care Inspectorate all support and require free play in nature for our youngest children.

Interested in attending?

Please see the Venue & Accommodation section below for more information on Stirling and the local area.

Conference agenda

This is an outline agenda as of February 2019, subject to confirmation by August 2019.

Thursday 24th September 2020

Welcome, youth keynote and adult keynote (we hope to have some very exciting news about our keynote shortly, so please check back here.)

Workshops A1-A6, Workshop B1-B5 and Wee Blether 1, Early Years tours
Evening: TBC

Wednesday 23rd September 2020

ISGA Executive and LtL Staff meet in evening (closed event).

Friday 25th September 2020

Bus tour of schools and nurseries (x2)

Workshops C1-C6, D1-D6, E1-E6 and F1-F6, Research Workshops 1 & 2.
Evening: Ceilidh dance

Saturday 26th September 2020

Today we welcome teachers, educators and practitioners from across Scotland to come and join us for the day. It will be bigger, noisier and really practical today.

Workshops G1-G8, H1-H8, J1-J8, K1-K8, Research Workshop 3 & 4, Wee Blether 2.
Closing remarks.

Call for papers and workshops

We welcome workshops and papers that support our theme of ‘Overcoming challenges’.
We are particularly seeking workshops from young people and children – we want your voice strongly heard through the event.

Please apply to lead a workshop by clicking here.

Main Workshops

Up to an hour, and can be practical outdoors, a walking workshop or indoors lecture. You will have 20-30 participants in a workshop, and we can help with resources for practical sessions. Resources and presentations will be shared on the event website afterwards.

Note that there are a limited number of these main workshops available, and we will make a decision with the leadership of ISGA about who speaks – and there will not be room for all.

Research Workshops

Are you currently involved in Academic research regarding school grounds, play or outdoor learning? Are you a class who discovered something new? Are you an educator with a fresh perspective? Do you have need of help or a question answering? If so, we want you to have an opportunity to share your learning with us, to challenge us, to see if we can help or inform.

15 minutes maximum for any speaker, plus a wall display in our research marketplace for the duration of the event.

A Wee Blether

Come and share your practice or ask for help in this fast paced and wild session. 3 slides, 3 minutes. Different. Exciting. Challenging. Questioning. Uplifting. Simple. Short. Exact.

We plan to have a couple of opportunities through the event for up to 15 people. You do have to let us know, and send us your slides in advance though. All will be shared online after the event.

(“Wee blether” is Scots for a little chat.)

Keynote Speakers

We have some exciting plans we hope to announce shortly, but we will also be looking for keynote speakers daily.

Please drop us an email with recommendations of who you think we should hear from.

Our Partners

These are the partners and supporters we are working with to deliver a fantastic conference.

Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?
Speak to Matt Robinson on 01786 465 934 or drop us an email.

Venue & Accommodation

Life in Stirling

Stirling is situated in the heart of Scotland.

A historically important city, Stirling is the gateway to the wild and remote Highland’s to the north, and busy lowland cities to the south. We are proud to have one of our LtL offices here, and love exploring the local area made famous through films such as Outlander, Outlaw King, Game of Thrones and Monty Python’s ‘Search for the Holy Grail’.

Nature is close by, with opportunities to climb mountains, walk through forests or take to the water on one of our many local lochs. Alternatively you may explore our wonderful castle, the Wallace Monument and the historical ‘top of the town’ in Stirling.

Stirling Old Town

We are using two main venues in ‘top of the town’ in Stirling, which is the historical heart, in partnership with Culture Stirling and Stirling Council.

Our main base is the Tollbooth centre, central to a number of outdoor and indoor venues for the conference and surrounded by historical buildings. Additionally we will be using Stirling Albert Halls for our opening event and some workshops.

Getting Here – Transport & Accommodation

With easy transport links to Glasgow (45mins) and Edinburgh (50mins), your arrival will be simple through tram, bus, train and airport. More information here.

Local transport is also easy by bus, bike or foot – you don’t need a car. More information here. Please get in touch if you would like support due to mobility issues, as we have plans in place.

Accommodation is plentiful and varied – we will have some special discounts in place by August 2019 for local hotels, guesthouses and hostels.

Booking information

We will open full bookings in Autumn 2019. In the meantime, please sign up as a free member. This means you will receive our newsletter as soon as bookings open – click here to join.


You will be able to attend for all three days, or opt for a single day attendance. This is particularly so that UK teachers and educators can come and join us on the Saturday or if they are released from work for the day.


At this stage it is difficult to give an exact cost, however we expect it to be in the range of £350-500 for the full three-day conference fee.

Accommodation and travel will be on top of that, and is your responsibility.

We hope to be able to offer discounts or bursaries to those of you from organisations or countries who could not afford to attend any other way. We will let you know how to apply for this when booking opens.

European attendees can apply for ERASMUS+ KA2 funding (at present).


Keep in the know

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