The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom publishes a number of blogs.  Here is a small selection of the recent ones:

Born Outdoors – Outdoor Citizens

Anita Kerwin-Nye, founder of Every Child Should, begins …

“My love for the outdoors and the role it has played in my personal well being is well documented. Similarly, how outdoor residentials and adventure learning took me down a very (positive) different path to the one I could have gone down.  …”


Disadvantaged children are missing out on life-changing residential experiences

Kim Somervilleon behalf of the campaigning group ‘Learning Away’ – looks at the worrying results from a new study examining ‘The state of school residentials in England: 2017’, and begins:

‘The state of school residentials in England: 2017’ study, assesses the quantity and quality of residentials currently delivered in schools.  It is the first study of this kind in England and is based on analysis of data from tens of thousands of schools and educational establishments over the last five years.  It found that far too many children are missing out on the powerful learning and life experiences residentials offer, with only one in five children experiencing a residential every year. More worryingly still, the study found a picture of patchy and inequitable access with young people in in the poorest areas the least likely to participate. Furthermore, only around half of teachers said they believed the residentials they delivered were affordable to all pupils. …”


Proving the impact of outdoor learning on attainment: ‘Wilderness Schooling’

Dave Harvey, who is currently working with the IOL and studying for a PhD at the University of Cumbria begins:

“Research into the effectiveness of outdoor learning interventions has traditionally focused on ‘socio-emotional’ outcomes such as self-awareness, increasing confidence and self-esteem. For some, however, the ‘holy grail’ for a number of years has been to demonstrate a direct correlation between structured outdoor learning experiences and curricular attainment, a research gap also highlighted in the recent Blagrave report (2016). Small sample sizes, unique learning conditions and methodological issues have meant that this has been notoriously difficult to achieve, a fact reflected in the current Sutton Trust – EEF toolkit summary of Outdoor Adventure Learning.  …”

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