Making The Case for Outdoor Learning

Research, reports, policy documents and news items in support of Outdoor Learning


The demand for Outdoor Learning programmes is increasing and strong cases are being made in support of the value of Outdoor Learning. All the following documents in this blog have a connection to the benefits of getting active, sharing an adventure, and enjoying the outdoors. This is dynamic and growing resource - please get in touch to suggest or share an entry.

You can find some key research papers here covering effective policy and practice in the sector. If you are looking to get involved in regional research, follow this link to find the research hub closest to you.


Louise Keir
/ Categories: Personal, , Active, Outdoor

The impact of residential experiences on pupil progress and attainment in year six (10 – 11 year olds) in England - 2019

This study confirms the profound and transformative impact that residential experiences can have on pupils. Findings also conclude that this impact is significantly greater for ‘vulnerable’ pupils.

The comparative research project involving year 6 pupils from eight schools in Wigan who took part in a four-night residential experience, found the experience enhanced and transformed relationships, increased engagement and helped the pupils to become resilient and mindful, with enhanced metacognition.

Schools involved found the nature of a residential enabled their pupils to find new ways of being friendly and children were able to develop friendships across normal social groups. They experienced a sense of achievement, a growing sense of motivation to learn and be part of the community, along with growing respect for each other. Children also developed pro-active behaviours in the tasks, in community life and socially.

The study was conducted by University of Cumbria on behalf of Learning Away, a consortium of organisations committed to championing the benefits of school and youth residentials, to test the initial Learning Away research released in 2017 and further explore the impact of these experiences.

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