This isn’t an auditing tool for the faint of heart.


Wild Ideas for Learning Outdoors was inspired by a TFeL pilot ‘Student Voice Audit’ and Juliet Robertson’s ‘Primary School Outdoor Audit’. The tool challenges learning communities to ask “where to next?” The card set features six categories, each with four provocations:


  • Time in Nature
  • Student Voice and Agency
  • Contributing to the Community
  • Caring for the Environment
  • Managing Risk and Challenge
  • Opportunities for Nature Play


What role do children play in determining how and where they learn and play?


Children in Australia spend around 12,000 hours at school. Primary school kids will spend over 1200 hours in their play spaces, so it’s vital that these environments provide resistance in the form of challenges and real, not imagined, risks. Learning and play spaces must be diverse surroundings that encourage all areas of a child’s development – social, cognitive, physical, and emotional.


Never before has creating a sense of belonging and connection to place and nature been more important. This auditing tool is intended to drive conversation between children and adults about imagining new ways to improve learning environments. It should challenge educators to reflect upon how their pedagogy supports the health and wellbeing of all learners by creating more time and space for outdoor learning.

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Many of us are familiar with the extensive research, presented to us by academics and educators
from across the globe, confirming the importance of nature play for children’s emotional, social and
cognitive development and overall wellbeing. In this case study from Kilkenny Primary School, we hear
from arguably the most invested researchers and practitioners – children themselves.

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Elizabeth Grove Primary School is a Category 1 school and has recently embarked on extending its grounds to incorporate a natural play space rich in sensory and risky play opportunities. The school’s journey is just beginning and this article provides an insight into the site’s whole-school approach to nature play.

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This article explores collaborative Nature Play Planning at St Catherine’s. Despite an enviable setting in the Adelaide Hills, St Catherine’s School embarked on an ambitious nature play space enhancement program that has empowered the whole school community.

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