Outdoors Thinking

Training (Adults)
Module 3 the adult

The Certificate In Outdoor Practice

Making outdoor provision work well

Module 3 Making outdoor provision work well

Great provision and exciting opportunities will only work effectively when outdoor provision and practice is managed well by all involved. Making learning outdoors enjoyable and rewarding for all - and keeping this sustainable over the long term - requires attention to a range of key organisational aspects that need the involvement of staff, children and parent/carers. Through focusing on organisation and management, this third step of the award supports you to make the most of developments in the two prior modules and to continue unlocking the fabulous potential of taking learning outdoors.

Enabling the practitioner to be confident both in practicing and in articulating the role of outdoor provision in their setting. Developing the knowledge, practices and competences to make best use of the outdoor part of the early learning environment.


This section of the qualification adds a further, and vital, layer through addressing the key organisational and management issues that allow outdoor provision to work most successfully, making learning outdoors enjoyable and rewarding for children and adults alike - and a place that everyone wants to be for long periods every day.

It can feel like there are all sorts of things getting in the way of achieving the outdoor provision you would love to share with your children. Many early years settings have to work with issues like difficult access to the outdoors, limited or uninspiring outdoor spaces, lack of storage, restricted funds for design, resources, training, outdoor clothing and so on, staff who are early on in their own journey of working well with the outdoor environment, and parents who are not yet fully on board with the aspirations and intentions for learning outdoors you might have.


What do you need to do to unlock and open up the wonderful and stimulating landscape of possibilities the outdoor environment could provide for your children?

Drawing upon awareness and thinking developed in the two previous stages of the course, in this module you will be guided to mobilise positive thinking and constructive action to work on the key obstructions in your own setting or placement.

Balancing outdoors


Working in interactive small groups outdoors, each training session will explore and tackle in a practical way two of the most widely experienced issues and problems in operating provision outdoors that providers commonly encounter.

With ample time to consider the current situation in your setting, ponder together and problem solve with other practitioners facing similar situations, these outdoor sessions will prompt new ways of thinking and provide rationales for making practical decisions that work. You will gain confidence in managing operational elements of provision and practice so that they can make the best contribution to the success of your day-to-day outdoor play.

Leaves and leaf collecting

Adding the third side of the Environment-Child-Adult triangle, Module 3 ‘Making outdoor provision work well’ attends to the roles that adults play in setting up, operating and sustaining an enabling environment that really meets what young children want to find out about and do, supporting the most advantageous ways for them to go about these explorations.

We’ll take a solution-focused approach to tackling the issues and barriers commonly presented by taking learning outdoors, through working on the very elements that have the most leverage in making learning through outdoor play work in the way it should do.


Across four half-day units of experiential sessions outdoors, you will be able to identify difficulties and explore solutions to clusters of related concerns shared by your practitioner colleagues. Working practically in small informal groups will enable honest evaluation of your current practices and supportive, practical solution finding.

For each of these issues, you will be supported to investigate and try out solutions and strategies that have been found to make provision for learning through play outdoors work well, so that it becomes both enjoyable and effective for children and practitioners alike.

Mud Kitchen Vanessa Lloyd handwashing

Digging Deeper

Following on from the hands-on outdoor sessions, associated half-day ‘digging deeper’ discussion sessions indoors explore wider solutions for overcoming barriers and difficulties.

During the hands-on sessions outdoors you will have drawn out some detail about the issues currently facing your setting or placement, and shared and explored some practical solutions within your group. Each of these practical sessions forms the basis for corresponding half-day discussion units that lead to more in-depth analysis and action planning for whole-setting changes.

Facilitated by a tutor well versed in facing common challenges and managing well-functioning outdoor provision, these indoor sessions in a larger group will take thinking, solution sharing and problem solving much further so that you can work out the right approaches for your unique situation.

Outdoor Storage in setting

Putting it into practice

Assessment for Module 3 is designed to guide operational improvements in your outdoor provision and practice through an action-research approach. Having identified four key aspects to work on, you will need to demonstrate the changes made, along with explaining the rationale for yourthe rationale explaining your actions and evaluating the impact you feel these have had.

This element of the Certificate in Outdoor Practice is designed to help you find the organisational aspects of your settings’ outdoor provision and practice that have the most influence on how well things work and how enjoyable it is for everyone to be outside. This step is particularly important in ensuring that new understanding is put into real practice, in an effective way that improves everyone’s experience for the long term for your setting and team as a whole.

Water pouring