Welcome to Outdoor Learning Information & Resources

On this page you will find information and resources dedicated to helping teachers increase their confidence in taking students into the outdoors across a variety of curriculum focus areas.

Through DET’s Strategic Partnership Program funding (SPP), Outdoors Victoria as lead organisation in partnership with ACHPER Victoria (Australian Council Health Physical Education and Recreation), EEV (Environment Education Victoria),  GTAV (Geography Teachers Association of Victoria) and Parks Victoria have created a series of Teacher Toolkit resources to encourage the use of using the outdoors within your every day classes.

Across a three calendar year program (2018, 2019 and 2020) a total of 15 Teacher Toolkit Documents will be produced. These documents have been developed through extensive consultation with the broader schooling community and external teacher organisations over several years including but not limited to ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators Network), HTAV (History Teachers Association of Victoria) and 100+ Surveyed teachers to ensure developmentally and culturally sensitive activities have been used. This initial round of Teacher Toolkits are tailored towards Primary School educators but with simple modifications can be used throughout Foundation – Year 10.

Defining Outdoor Learning through the Australian Curriculum

Outdoor learning engages students in practical and active learning experiences in natural environments and settings, and this typically takes place beyond the school classroom. In these environments, students develop the skills and understandings to
move safely and competently while valuing a positive relationship with naturalenvironments and promoting the sustainable use of these environments.

What are the benefits of Outdoor Learning for students?

Having students engage in Outdoor Learning has been shown to provide many benefits across schooling. As noted in the Australian Curriculum

Students can gain unique and specific benefits from outdoor learning, including skills and understandings, while valuing a positive relationship with natural environments and promote sustainable use of these environments.

In document One “Introduction” Pages 5-7 unpack these peer reviewed research benefits in a greater detail.

Outdoor Learning Toolkits

What is Included in the Toolkits ?

Within the Teacher Toolkits you will find a range of information from benefits of Outdoor Learning, considerations when developing and launching an Outdoor Learning program, Case Studies from Victorian Primary schools, sample letter to families and how to discuss Outdoor Learning with fellow colleagues in addition to 100+ curriculum aligned activities.

Teacher Toolkits

These Outdoor Learning toolkits were created throughout 2018 and 2019, through further consultation with the teaching community around the impacts of COVID-19 on Education these toolkit documents have been modified and re-released to assist teachers in school based and at home learning. In the coming months a total of Six more toolkits will be released including but not limited to Outdoor Learning in History, Reading / Writing, Speaking/ Listening and indigenous perspectives.

Access the following toolkits below:

  1. Introduction to Outdoor Learning
  2. Outdoor Learning in the playground
  3. Outdoor Learning in a water-based environment
  4. Introducing Outdoor Learning into Arts
  5. Introducing Outdoor Learning into Science
  6. Introducing Outdoor Learning into Maths
  7. Introducing Outdoor Learning into Health and Physical Education
  8. Introducing Outdoor Learning in an urban environment, and;
  9. Introducing Outdoor Learning into Geography

Presentation

This is the pdf version of the Youtube video at the top of this page. It includes an overview of Outdoor Learning as well as lots more valuable introductory information to this exciting model of learning.

Contact Us

If you would like to know more information, or would like to be involved in and contribute to the remaining documents please contact Luke Parker at: outdoorlearning@outdoorsvictoria.org.au

Toolkit 1: An Introduction

This Teacher Toolkit is offered as a framework for developing your own curriculum specific ideas and activities for Outdoor Learning. It is quite flexible and should be adapted to suit your needs. Toolkit 1 Benefits of Outdoor Learning presents research that will help you argue the case for taking students out of the classroom.

Toolkit 2: In the Playground

This teacher toolkit looks at opportunities to integrate Outdoor Learning into your everyday activities without leaving the school ground. We show a range of 13 activities with minimal and inexpensive equipment. This toolkit will help you develop knowledge of practical ways to include Outdoor Learning into your class and create your own exciting activities and experiences.

Toolkit 3: Water Based Environments

In this Teaching Toolkit, we provide 19 sample activities which use minimal equipment and have a quick setup time. As for all activities in the toolkits, it is important to survey your environment carefully, to ensure it is safe and appropriate for students.

Toolkit 4: Physical Education

The Outdoors has been used as a core component in Physical Education for many years, in this toolkit you will find 10 exciting new activities students across various year levels and student groups can explore.

Toolkit 5: The Arts

The Outdoors has been used as medium to teach and enhance arts for many years, in this toolkit you will find examples of 13 different outdoor activities you can engage your students in across various year levels and student groups.

Toolkit 6: Geography

Outdoor/fieldwork provides opportunities to stimulate all the senses and become powerful memories for students. In the field they can engage using an inquiry approach, encouraging curiosity and exploration. In particular, outdoor learning in Geography can enable sensory and exploratory play and learning.

Toolkit 7: Science

The outdoor environment has played an integral component of science teaching and learning ever since its introduction. This toolkit will provide you with 10 detailed science activities that can be conducted in the outdoors. Each of these activities have been suggested by current science teachers with decades of experiences across a range of year and curriculum levels.

Toolkit 8: Mathematics

Maths and the outdoors are subjects that do not traditionally go hand in hand although many maths teachers use practical activities to provide a deeper level of learning to their students. It is important that everyone feels comfortable in integrating the outdoors into their lessons. This toolkit offers more than ten activities that can be used at any year level to promote outdoor learning in Maths. In 2020 further activities activities and research notes will be added.

Toolkit 9: Urban Environments

This Teacher Toolkit looks at the opportunities for integrating Outdoor Learning in Urban Environments.  You will find a series of 10 activities that can be used across various year levels and student groups. In this Teaching Toolkit, we provide sample activities which use minimal equipment and have a quick setup time.