Learning outside the classroom and global learning

 ~ Recommended Resources and links 

“When you step outside the classroom you have the opportunity to transform learning and raise achievement. Learning outside the classroom allows participants to learn in context, to learn by practical engagement, and to learn by personal discovery”  Learning outside the classroom website

The Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto was launched following consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.  Those who have signed up to support it, recognise that learning experiences that take place beyond the classroom, are essential to children’s learning and personal development.

Outside-the-classroom means any place outside of a learner’s usual learning environment.  This includes the school grounds, local shops, museum, art gallery and so on.  Making the most of the opportunities and offering quality learning experiences for students, and teachers through CPD, is key to the manifesto.

These places offer the opportunity to explore the idea that global issues can be investigated within our own locality. A group of museums, libraries and archives professionals working with secondary schools, for example, took a fresh look at their local collections, to explore ways that these could inspire global learning.  They found opportunities for students to make connections between themselves, the collections and other places, whilst developing learners’ sense of self, critical thinking skills, communication skills and so on.  For further details of this project click here.

Below you will find links to websites that offer good curriculum support, background information or CPD opportunities for learning in each of these environments.

The Learning outside the classroom website from DCSF

This website is a key starting point for support and information.  It offers guidance, CPD support, resources, case studies and a downlodable copy of the manifesto itself.  www.lotc.org.uk

Learning Through Landscapes

Supports schools to make the most of their outdoor spaces for play and learning.  Offers training, facilitation, a range of projects and resources. The secondary programmes encourage young people to get involved in developing their school grounds, get involved in their communities and make use of ICT.www.ltl.org.uk

Engaging Places

A resource from English Heritage and CABE [Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment] to support teaching and learning through buildings and places.  Includes a section on using these environments within the new secondary curriculum.  There are useful case studies and CPD opportunities. 

Farming and Countryside Education

FACE aims to educate children and young people about food and farming in a sustainable countryside.  The website gives valuable resources, links and information for planning farm visits.  www.face-online.org.uk

Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

The MLA promotes best practice in museums, libraries and archives.   It develops national and regional policy, promotes research and offers a range of programmes.  In the West Midlands Tide~ has worked with a group of museums, libraries and archives professional to explore how local collections can be used to inspire global learning. See below.  www.mla.gov.uk


The Sacred Spaces section of this website gives some inspiring, real examples of compelling learning experiences that have taken place in places of worship, school grounds  and other venues.  A description of each case study is downloadable as a pdf using a proforma – what were we trying to achieve? What did it cost? Preparation, How did we organise learning? and so on.

Creative Partnerships

The website demonstrates the potential of innovative, long-term partnerships between schools and creative professionals, both within the school and in other settings.  www.creative-partnerships.com

Institute for Outdoor Learning

Supports people working in the outdoor environment and teachers with a lead role in outdoor learning.  Offers advice on health and safety issues, course listings, insurance information and so on.  www.outdoor-learning.org

Teaching Outside the Classroom

Teaching Outside the Classroom supports the development of placements for trainee teachers in settings other than schools. www.teachingoutsidetheclassroom.com

Tide~ Publications

These resources have been produced in partnership with teachers in the Tide~ network and out-of-classroom professionals in the West Midlands. 

At the heart of it ~using local collections to inspire global learning
Developed by a group of museums, libraries and archives professionals, working with secondary schools.

Writing from the oasis ~ using environments creatively in KS3
In partnership with Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Learning Journeys
In partnership with Language Alive Theatre in Education Company, children were taken on a ‘learning journey’ at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Waking up ~ using plants to investigate sustainable development at KS2  
In partnership with Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Rehearsing the event ~ citizenship education
For Theatre-in-Education companies ~ explores ways of addressing the  citizenship curriculum in schools.