How Outdoor Learning is becoming part of the ‘everyday’ in South Australian primary schools

Mrs Maria Taylor1
1Nature Play SA, Adelaide, Australia


Over the last two years, the Nature Play SA team have been spreading the word about outdoor learning; supporting teachers, leaders and students to consider school grounds and outdoor environments as a place for maths, literacy, inquiry and project-based learning.

In this practical presentation, Maria Taylor will reflect upon the increasing appetite for outdoor learning and nature play within South Australian primary schools and share reflections from students and teachers as well as insights from the field.

How can we support primary teachers to go beyond the classroom door each and every day? How can we help them find their own answers to questions such as; What is outdoor learning? How does it ‘fit’ into a crowded curriculum? How much structure do we need to provide? How do we make sure no-one gets lost? What if my class runs wild?

Hear the story of how a small not for profit is expanding the notion of what outdoor learning might be within the context of a South Australian landscape.

This presentation will include an overview of the 2020 TeachOut Nature Play Passport Program, where outdoor learning sits squarely alongside conversations regarding pedagogy and curriculum.

Maria Taylor has a primary teaching background with an interest in innovative practice in the primary setting and is currently keeping busy as the Manager of Education for Nature Play SA. A great day in the office might include presenting workshops, mentoring teaching teams, exploring forests and beaches with students, creating resources and dreaming up new programs for Nature Play SA. At home, Maria is kept busy with 3 adventurers of her own; two primary aged children and a husband who equally loves adventure, travel and sneaking new bikes and outdoor gear into the shed.

About OEA and Outdoors NSW

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)  was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

Outdoors NSW is the go-to place for all things outdoors in NSW.

The peak body for the outdoors in NSW, the organisation, (formerly known as ORIC), represents the outdoor community, advances outdoor standards, safety and practices, and fosters greater participation in the outdoors.

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