The Outdoor Classroom Ages 3-7 : Using Ideas From Forest Schools to Enrich Learning book cover
2nd Edition

The Outdoor Classroom Ages 3-7
Using Ideas From Forest Schools to Enrich Learning

ISBN 9781138227989
Published March 24, 2017 by Routledge
158 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Emphasising the importance of continuity for young children, The Outdoor Classroom Ages 3–7 practically demonstrates how early years settings and schools can maximise the learning potential of the outdoor environment. Fully updated to take into account the revised EYFS and Key Stage 1 curricula and including new case studies throughout, this second edition encourages teachers and practitioners to examine and reflect on their use of the outside area to ensure they provide rich play opportunities for children that will further their learning regardless of time, space or financial restraints.

Drawing on the Forest School approach, this handy text considers the practical implications for settings using the outdoor classroom and covers:

  • the characteristics of effective learning outdoors;

  • guidance on timetabling and planning;
  • advice on the logistics and health and safety involved;
  • tips for navigating parental and staff opposition;
  • closely linked theory and practice to assessment;
  • the social and emotional aspects of learning.

Full of resources, lesson plans and activities to support rich learning opportunities, this book will inspire you to think creatively about the outside area and use its full potential to bring the outdoors alive with interest, exploration and challenge.

Table of Contents

1. What is an outdoor classroom and how does it enhance children’s learning?   2. The implications for settings using the outdoor classroom   3. Using themes to inspire learning in the outdoor classroom   4. Assessing children’s learning in the outdoor classroom  5. The outdoor classroom in practice   6. Conclusion

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Karen Constable is an early years leader and Forest School co-ordinator at St John and St Francis Church School in Somerset.

Sandy Green worked within the early years sector for over 35 years, initially as a nursery nurse in both education and social services settings and later as a lecturer in further education. She is now an educational consultant and has written extensively on early years education.


Alison Wild, Deputy Head Primary School, UK

I believe that there is a large market for this type of book relating to the New Curriculum. Many schools have outdoor areas that are used with the Foundation Stage and it is my experience that there is movement to encourage Forest Schools and Outdoor learning within KS1. I like the balance within this book of theory and practice. I particularly like the way that theory is linked to practice and then to assessment. It is also good to see the importance given to social and emotional aspects of learning. This book would be useful for a leader of Forest Schools, such as our two teachers at school or to any Foundation Stage of KS1 teacher who is interested in making the most of an Outdoor Learning Area. Because of this, there is a wide target audience. Personally, I don’t believe any further justification is needed as I can clearly see the place that this book has in the market.

Clare Boucher, Childcare Lecturer, Greenwich Community College, UK

I believe that there is a real need for this book because of the continuing popularity of the Forest School/Outdoor Classroom approach. Most Early Years settings now have a ‘Forest School’ type outdoor learning environment, due to the many benefits for the children. The book has provided a fresh new outdoor learning concept, practitioners are desperate to have practical ideas for how to make the outdoors alive with interest, exploration, risk and challenge. Many books explore the concept of forest schools and outdoor play but not many actually provide ideas on practical resources and activities, and examining and reflecting on early years practice. Yes I do recommend that you publish the Second Edition of this book, Karen Constable is obviously an expert in this field and provides invaluable insight into the forest school Approach. An invaluable resource rich in content and supportive of CPD as well as Early Years students, supporting their learning of Forest Schools/the Outdoor Classroom.

Lesley Newman, Infant School Head, UK

The book is clear and easy to follow. It provides information in an accessible way and the illustrations help to bring the theory alive. I think the book will continue to be used by a wide range of practitioners in many different settings. There are many publications on the market around Forest Schools and Learning outdoors however I have found this book particularly useful. I would recommend that this book is updated and I believe it will continue to be used to support good practice in Early Years