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“It’s about more than the curriculum and it’s certainly more than just another school trip.”

Thursday, 18 June 2015 10:18
Gary Richardson, CEO of Countryside Learning

Offer children more than testing and targets by introducing them to experiences that inform and inspire them about the natural environment and where their food comes from.

For nearly 30 years Countryside Learning has provided opportunities for teachers, parents and pupils to engage with the outdoor classroom on farms and estates across the UK. In that period we have seen numerous initiatives, curriculum reviews and a host of other factors that impact on what we do.

In an education system that has become increasingly prescriptive the teachers we meet, especially the new generation of teachers coming through their training, want to offer children more than testing and targets. They want to show children a range of experiences that - without a doubt - enhance their formal education but also inform and inspire them about the natural environment and where their food comes from.

Einstein said “I never attempt to teach my pupils, I only try to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” That is the essence of outdoor education and why a growing number of parents, teachers and children can see the benefits of learning outside the four walls of a classroom. Every year organisations like mine collect a raft of stories from teachers who are amazed at the different sides of a pupil’s character they see when they get them out the classroom. One teacher recently said to me:

It’s about more than the curriculum and it’s certainly more than just another school trip. This is about helping children to see the world around them. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes and the feel of the countryside. Putting it in real time focus for them and doing so in a way that will stay with them for long after they and the rest of the world has forgotten their SATs results.


Our motto as a charity is to educate, inform and inspire children, parents and teachers about the British countryside. We are totally committed to the aims of Countryside Classroom and look forward to working with all the partnership to grow and enhance the public’s knowledge and appreciation of where their food comes from and how our natural environment is managed.

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Gary Richardson, CEO of Countryside Learning
The mission of Countryside Learning (CL) is a simple one. It is to educate, inform and inspire children, parents and teachers, so that they can enjoy and appreciate the countryside while having a greater understanding of the wide range of issues surrounding it. CL acts as a link to a...    Read More
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