Additional Resources

Supporting Material

This page provides additional resources to support the delivery of your nature-based teaching. Once you have decided where, when, and how you will approach your teaching practice, you can use these planning materials where needed to support future learning experiences.

Supporting Templates

It may be useful for you to complete a risk assessment prior to delivery. Learning Through Landscapes is an organisation that provides a series of free templates for risk assessments across different environments, teaching contexts, and groups.

Workshop Ideas 

There are numerous ways in which you can choose to frame the delivery of your practice. The environments you choose to visit should have relevance to learning and to student needs, interests, and skills. The Journal of Outdoor Environmental Education set out this approach to the workshop development process (Corcoran 1967). This is now an outdated guide, but consider how you might adapt these points to your practice in a more contemporary setting.

  • Following your selection of an outdoor site, create a rationale identifying, justifying and describing how engagement with your surroundings will contribute to the delivery of meaningful learning.
  • In your design process, include a summary of class needs, inclusive of backgrounds, subject areas, and any additional support students might require.
  • Bring in sample teaching and learning processes you would use in your outdoor environment.
  • Identify logistical and resource-related requirements, including transportation, risk management and any necessary equipment you might need.
  • Consider problems and questions that concern you about your curriculum, leaving opportunity for solutions and reflexivity to be developed as you deliver and engage with students.

Activities such as sit spots, urban solos, and psychogeography all offer routes into possible activities and workshops to carry out with students. A focus on the affordances of your chosen environments will help to deepen the connections you draw between nature and learning.

Outdoor Journeys

Developed by outdoor learning researchers at Moray House School of Education and Sport, the Outdoor Journeys platform provides a new and easily adaptable model for outdoor learning based on enabling children to learn about local people and places in active, engaging and contextualised ways. The model (and a series of related resources) was based on a three-stage process of questioning, researching and sharing findings. The resource can be adapted for use in Higher Education settings, and provides a range of resources including risk assessments, journey templates, and guidance documents.

Related Papers 

If you would like to read more deeply on the subject of nature-based learning, the research papers below from academics at the University of Edinburgh provide an introduction to this pedagogical approach.

Wild Places, Wild Encounters: Exploring Edinburgh’s Living Landscape – Glen Cousquer 2024

How can place support pedagogy? Application of the concept of cognitive affordances in research and design of outdoor learning environments Matluba Khan, Sarah McGeown, Beth Christie, Simon Bell 2023

Outdoor Learning Across the Curriculum: Theory and Guidelines for Practice Simon Beames, Peter Higgins, Robbie Nicol, Heidi Smith 2023

Deepening our attachment to nature through place-based education Robbie Nicol 2020

You are never alone: Understanding the educational potential of an ‘urban solo’ in promoting place-responsiveness Nicol, R. & Sangster, P., 2 Sept 2019

Taking Time to get Messy Outside the Online Classroom Sharon Boyd 2021

Building the University Community by Appreciating the More‐Than‐Human Campus Sharon Boyd, Andrea Roe 2019

Laying down a path in walking: Student teachers’ emerging ecological identities Donald S. Gray, Laura Colucci-Gray 2018