Outdoors Thinking

Lying on the rocks
Module 1 The Environment

The Certificate In Outdoor Practice

Creating rich experiences outdoors

Creating rich experiences outdoors ( Module 1 ) can be completed as an independant four day course or as the first part of the Level 3 Certificate in Outdoor Practice which is made up of 3 modules and runs over 12 days.

This 4 day module is about creating an outdoor environment that provides a rich landscape of stimulating, meaningful and worthwhile possibilities that draw on what the outdoors is particularly able to offer young children, and which are difficult or impossible to provide indoors. We take an in-depth look at the incredible potential in the ‘super-ingredients’ of excellent outdoor provision and develop these in your own setting

Child Paces Learning

Enabling the practitioner to develop ideas, skills and confidence in providing the core elements of outdoor play provision.

The ‘Creating rich experiences outdoors’ module is designed to get you started in developing your outdoor provision so that it becomes an environment that really enables young children to be the intensely curious and interactive beings that they are meant to be: asking their own questions and following their own fascinations; learning from the real world and other people; and constructing the right foundations for happiness and success throughout their lives.

Boy with cable

Harnessing the material possibilities of a nature-rich outdoor space to greatly extend, enhance and complement the experiences you provide for indoors. Through making the most of what is different and special about what can be offered outside, we will focus upon creating opportunities that the indoors cannot provide. An emphasis on natural materials and processes also follows children’s inborn drive to connect with nature, nurturing a deep relationship with the natural world.

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Through the rich and holistic provision ingredients explored in this module, children will be encouraged to interact, wonder, explore, investigate, experiment, discover, develop their own working theories, imagine, innovate, create, relax, build relationships and, importantly, form memories that will stay with them throughout their life – just as memories of our play outdoors have stayed with us.

Umbrella/ Water play


Over four days of experiential sessions outdoors, you will be introduced to the eight best 'ingredients' the outdoor environment can offer, opening your eyes to the incredible range of fabulous opportunities that these core ingredients of outdoor provision can make possible in any outdoor space, however uninspiring it might currently seem.

Through having plenty of time to explore and play with each ingredient yourself, in a small group with other practitioners, you will be able to gather ideas, develop skills, share questions and thoughts, talk things through and gain confidence in both offering this element of provision in your own setting/placement and being able to make the most of what it can offer for your children.

Building Beds Outdoors

Each ingredient is super-rich in itself, but when more than one is provided they work with each other to offer a limitless menu of possibilities for discovery and opportunities for learning!

For each ingredient, you will be able to investigate and test out a range of easy to gather materials and resources that can get you started in developing this aspect of provision in your own outdoor space.

Playing with rocks

Digging Deeper

The discussion sessions are structured around analysis and group discussion to draw out the amazing array of learning and development that each aspect of outdoor provision has the potential to stimulate and support.

As children explore and uncover their own personal curriculum through each ingredient, our discussions will help you to understand how your statutory framework can be used to support each child’s journey of adventure and discovery. These discussions will also explore adult roles and interactions in both offering experiences and responding to what children do with them, and consider how the curriculum framework that guides your practice works with provision outdoors to enable every child’s individual pathway of learning and development

Play with copper pots

Putting it into practice

Module 1, will focus on encouraging you to use the understanding you have gained through implementing each ingredient in your own setting or placement, demonstrating how you have done this.

We will guide you to make your own additional studies through expected and recommended reading, watching video clips of adult practice and children at play and exploring other resources.

You will be encouraged to keep a portfolio to organise what you find, including a journal to record your ideas, thoughts and actions.

Girl with bags