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Learning with Nature

Learning with Nature
Embedding Outdoor Practice

September 2015 | 128 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Learning outside the classroom is a key part of early years and primary practice and is on the rise in settings across the world. This book centres on outstanding outdoor practice and how children can learn and develop in natural environments.

Focussing on children aged from 2-11 this book contains:

  • self-evaluation toolkit for educators to reflect on what they’re doing now and where to develop to be more effective.
  • Examples of practice from around the world and in various environments, including urban settings.
  • An entire chapter on assessment and planning to help ensure and demonstrate quality of provision.

Looking at all the possibilities and approaches, there are models for practice to suit every setting so that everyone can make outdoor learning part of the core teaching and learning objectives.

Claire Warden is an educational consultant with an international reputation for pioneering work in education and a focus on children’s connection to the natural world.


Chapter 1: Self-Evaluation of Practice
Chapter 2: Characteristics of Outdoor Learning
Chapter 3: Learning with Nature
Chapter 4: Sharing Values with Parents
Chapter 5: Observation, Planning and Assessment
Chapter 6: Embedding Practice

The author has a lovely writing style that demonstrates clarity, knowledge, humour and such strength of reflective practice that you cannot help but love reading this book, whether as a parent, practitioner, carer or early years educator - it is a delight.

Martine Hovarth
Early Years Educator

Helpful and clear reading for students. Encouraging developing strategies for outdoor learning and the rationale around this.

Mrs Lucie Hutson
Youth, Midlands Centre for Youth Ministry
March 13, 2021

This book is accessible in style. I really enjoyed finding out more about the Diagrams of Practice and have used this approach with students. However it took some time to fully grasp the idea..

Mrs Victoria Brown
Primary Education Dept, University of St Mark And St John
July 25, 2019

An excellent read providing ideas for planning, teaching and assessment.

Mrs Donna Kathleen O'Connor
Hair Beauty & Early Years, NWRC
May 18, 2016

This is a beautifully presented book, A4 size, though slim. It explores a number of issues relating to outdoor learning and provides colourful case studies that bring the various projects described to life. It is not academic in tone, but may be useful to undergraduate education students in terms of providing inspiring and stimulating examples of how outdoor learning can be managed.

Dr Louise Campbell
Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University
February 17, 2017

This book is not academic in tone - it is accessible for any readership interested in outdoor learning - but does contain some case studies that will be of interest to students and practitioners alike. The large format (A4) means that the images make a strong impact. The writer is clearly an experienced practitioner and explains her methods and beliefs about outdoor learning in an engaging way.

Dr Louise Campbell
Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University
September 5, 2016

This is a joy of a book to read. It approaches the issues around reflective practice in a fresh and stimulating way. The Diagrams of Practice need some work to fully grasp, but once you understand them, they open up new ways of planning research.

Dr Walter Riggans
Cliff College, Cliff College
September 13, 2016

An excellent guide for practitioners developing, implementing and justifying further outdoor provision. Accessible but using academic conventions making it a valuable text for practitioners, leaders and innovators.

Ms Caroline Brooks
Faculty of Development & Society, Sheffield Hallam University
September 12, 2016

A book that looks at the outdoors and the benefits for young children in a sensitive way. Addressing concerns and perceived and actual barriers

Mrs Helen Newman - B111
Education , Trowbridge College
July 4, 2016

A good book for Year 1 students that gives them a good idea of the nature a learning resource in an EY setting.

Mrs Svetlana Shivacheva
University Centre Croydon, Croydon College
January 19, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Self-Evaluation of Practice