Why are we in Scotland?

The UK has a long history of outdoor learning, including school and nursery grounds. As a founder member of the ISGA, LtL hosted the inaugural International School Grounds Alliance conference in Winchester, southern England in 2010. You can read more of our history here.

Scotland in recent years has seen real development of policy, curriculum and practice in outdoor learning. A part of this work has been LtL’s Scottish team, formerly known as Grounds for Learning (GfL). Since 1995, the ‘Grounds for Learning Project’ has led research, training and thinking on school grounds use.

We have seen developments in outdoor learning, play and ‘learning for sustainability’, part of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (‘Global Goals’)  and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

It is because of these developments that we want to bring you to the UK and in particular Scotland, to share our journey and meet our colleagues.

Find out more about LtL’s work in Scotland

Scotland now has in place:

  • The Scottish “Curriculum for Excellence” suggests that ‘outdoors is often a better place to learn’ and that ‘Outdoor learning is a regular and progressive experience for all learners’.
  • “Learning for Sustainability” is an entitlement of all learners and central to our Curriculum for Excellence – and outdoor learning is included within that.
  • Scotland’s Standards for Teacher Registration require all teachers to “Use outdoor learning opportunities, including direct experiences of nature and other learning within and beyond the school boundary” and “…where appropriate, actively seek outdoor learning opportunities”.
  • Daily free-play, in nature, is the right of all our children. School, early years and childcare settings are a core part of this expectation.

The progress made is a 20-year journey, and is in no-way complete. We hope you will learn about our experience as a nation which has an aspiration to be ‘the best place to grow up’ for all children, our mistakes and challenges.

A Global Conference

This conference is however a Global one. The pandemic through 2020 and 2021 has shown us all how fragile our world is, and how much we share in common.

Beyond sharing our Scottish and UK approach, we are expecting speakers and contributions from Asia, South America, North America, Australasia, Europe and Africa. Please see the speakers page for more information.

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