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Outdoor Science

outdoor science

The Association for Science Education's Outdoor Science area is supported by the activities of our Outdoor Science Working Group.  The Outdoor Science Group was convened by ASE in 2004 in response to a long and continuing decline in the use of outdoor fieldwork to teach science in the UK’s schools, particularly at secondary level. The OSWG feels that this is detrimental to the quality of science education and reduces the opportunities for children to appreciate everything that science has to offer them, both as future citizens and potential recruits to science careers.


A level regulatory requirements and new subject content

In 2013, The Outdoor Science Working Group is responding to the Ofqual consultation on new A level regulatory requirements and the DfE consultation on new subject content at A level. 

Thinking Beyond the Classroom 

Thinking Beyond the Classroom is a free resources for KS3 science from King’s College London, developed by ASE’s Outdoor Science Working Group.. The CPD resource has 10 activities fully trialled in schools that encourage observation, group work and discussion. The activities are easily carried out in school grounds and parks. The resource is designed to show how teaching strategies used in the classroom can be transferred to the outside.

Learning Outside the Classroom in Natural Environments

In July 2012, Natural England published the School Leader and Teacher Insights into Learning Outside the Classroom in Natural Environments report.

Outdoor Science Report

The Association for Science Education Outdoor Science Working Group’s (OSWG) report, entitled Outdoor Science, sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation, was released on January 19, 2011. Please click here to read the report. Please click here for more information. 

‘Successful science: An evaluation of science education in England 2007-2010’

Among the five recommendations for secondary schools and colleges in this Ofsted report is one which we are pleased to note encourages science beyond the classroom “ensure that the science curriculum is engaging and relevant to students’ needs and requires their active participation within and beyond the Classroom”. Click here to view the full report, published in January 2011. 

Initial Teacher Education and the Outdoor Classroom: Standards for the Future

Published in 2007 by the Field Studies Council and the ASE. Click here to download a copy.


The study of biology, geology and the rest is a living experience,and without fieldwork it can be (and often is) killed stone dead - Professor Steve Jones, ASE President

Out-of-Classroom Learning

Download the booklet, Out-of-classroom: Practical Information and guidance for schools and teachers. Published May 2006 by RSPB as part of the Real World Learning Partnership. 

Getting Out of the Classroom

Experience other schools' educational trips. We discover what went well, what really impacted on the children and why learning outside the confines of the school is so important. There are four videos in this Teachers' TV series.

Taking Science Outside

Adrian Fenton urges you to step out of the classroom and use the world around you to inspire your students in this feature for the special needs organisation nasen.

Photo Credit: Pete Boardman, FSC