The programme aims to develop secondary science teachers’ skills in outdoor teaching. The origins of this aim are rooted in a belief that the outdoors offers opportunities for learning, that when planned and taught, can strengthen science learning, provide cognitive development and curriculum related outcomes, as well as giving depth to the curriculum and contribute to pupils’ physical, personal and social education (Rickinson et al. 2004).
The ‘outdoors’ refers to the school playground, local park or accessible streetscape. The belief being that learning science outside has the potential to offer access to ‘the rarely considered but often passed’, potentially unique materials, the possibility of extended and authentic practical work, and introduction to the ‘messiness of science’ and the improved development and integration of scientific concepts (Braund and Reiss 2006)
In an aid to help science teachers use the outdoors a pedagogical framework was developed drawing from current educational research of elements from Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education Programme and Assessment for Learning (Glackin and Serret 2011). Ten key stage three activities were developed using this framework.