Headteacher Update Podcast: Outdoor learning

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

This episode is packed full of advice, ideas, and tips for delivering effective and impactful outdoor learning in the primary school.

Our expert panel kick off by discussing nine tenets of best practice in delivering outdoor and nature-based learning in schools.

We also talk about the benefits that outdoor learning can bring, including the skills it can help pupils to develop.

With lots of ideas for activities and projects, we discuss how outdoor or nature-based learning can be set up in urban school settings or in schools with restricted space. We discuss ideas and tips for making outdoor learning work when it’s cold, wet, windy too.

Also, how can outdoor learning be used to break-down inequality and disadvantage and offer a more inclusive education? And how can it support pupil mental health and wellbeing?

Finally, we discuss how we can best integrate and plan outdoor learning into the wider curriculum.

This episode is hosted by Helen Frostick, a National Leader of Education and semi-retired primary school headteacher. Our guests this time are:

  • Dr Alexia Barrable was born in Greece and had a wild childhood climbing trees and rescuing tortoises. After moving to the UK in her early teens, she went on to study at Oxford and Cambridge, where she qualified as a teacher. Alexia has a PhD in psychology in education and conducts research on the human-nature relationship. She is passionate about spreading the word of the benefits of, and opportunities offered by, nature-based learning.
  • Alison Marshall worked as a primary school teacher for five years before going on a secondment to work for the local authority as a Travel Plan Coordinator. On returning to primary education, she was keen to encourage outdoor learning within her own setting. Alison has recently qualified as a Forest Schools Leader and is currently the lead teacher for outdoor learning at Archbishop Cranmer Academy in Aslockton, Nottinghamshire.
  • Dr John Allan is a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy and head of learning and impact at Inspiring Learning and Kingswood. John is an established academic and outdoor practitioner and leads the learning and impact of adventure education programmes delivered by Inspiring Learning and Kingswood.

You can listen to this episode of the Headteacher Update Podcast above. To hear other Headteacher Update podcasts, or to subscribe for free to new editions, search for 'The Headteacher Update Podcast' in your podcast streaming application of choice. Or visit www.headteacher-update.com/knowledge-bank/podcasts/

For details about The Headteacher Update Podcast, or to suggest future topics, email editor Pete Henshaw at pete.henshaw@markallengroup.com

This material is protected by MA Education Limited copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.


Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Sign up Headteacher update Bulletin
About Us

Headteacher Update is a magazine, website, podcast and regular ebulletin dedicated to the primary school leadership team. We tackle a wide range of leadership issues, offering best practice, case studies and in-depth information, advice and guidance. Headteacher Update magazine is distributed free to approximately 20,000 primary school headteachers.

Learn more about Headteacher update


Register to receive regular updates on primary education news delivered free to your inbox.