This report presents the key findings from the Natural Connections Demonstration Project, which identified that the fundamental challenges to learning outside the classroom in the natural environment (LINE) in schools were local and revolved around a lack of teacher confidence in teaching outside and fragmentation of LINE service provision. These underpinned the more traditionally cited challenges of curriculum pressures, concern about risks and cost.
This and other evidence was used by Natural England and a wide range of partner organisations to shape the design of the demonstration project. The project was funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Natural England and Historic England, commissioned by Natural England, and delivered in South West England by Plymouth University.
Natural Connections was intended to:
- Stimulate the demand from schools and teachers for learning outside the classroom in the local natural environment.
- Support schools and teachers to build learning outside the classroom in the local natural environment into their planning and practices.
- Stimulate the supply of high quality learning outside the classroom in the natural environment services for schools and teachers.
Further detail is available in Natural England Commissioned Report NECR215 Annex 1.