Encouraging learning outside the classroom

Date Posted: 09/05/2014

Getting their hands dirty withthe Field Studies Council.

The Field Studies Council has used the upcoming changes to the National Curriculum for Primary schools as an opportunity to rethink its courses for Key Stage 2 school groups, and has created some new session ideas across a host of subjects.

The aim is for children to really enjoy spending time outdoors engaging with the natural world – its sights, smells, sounds and getting their hands dirty too.

All the new sessions have been created to combine fun and adventure with curriculum-based learning, to ensure that children and teachers get the most possible from their school trip.

It isn’t just Geography and Science either – so many other subjects can use the outdoors to inspire children, and FSC’s Key Stage 2 sessions link to a whole range of other subjects within the National Curriculum.

Here are some ideas from the Field Studies Council that you might not have considered:


Discover sessions like Literacy through Landscapes and Digital Stories, which use the sights, sounds and feel of beautiful natural surroundings to inspire stories, poems or videos.

Children are taken to a new and interesting environment which helps to boost their creativity and develop their reading, writing and comprehension.


Finding patterns in snail shells, symmetry in leaves, angles in trees and fractions within animal populations can all help children improve their mathematical literacy and problem solving skills in a new and different way. 

Sessions available include Nature’s Numbers or discovering how to record your whereabouts with Maps and Geometry.

Art & Design

Children can become ‘green’ artists creating sculptures or artwork inspired by the natural world and using paints, clays and other natural materials. 

With a variety of natural things to see, smell and feel children should enjoy art in a new way and can complete sketch books to record and review their experiences.

Boys having fun on the water.


The outdoors is a fantastic way to offer children new challenges from coasteering to tackling the high ropes. 

School groups should find it much more exciting to climb a real rock face than a climbing wall indoors.

Developing teamwork skills, co-ordination, strength, balance and control as well as demonstrating personal improvement these sessions aim to engage all children with physical exercise.


Explore new parts of the country and find out their Hidden Histories.

Pupils can become history investigators uncovering local history through hands-on enquiry. 

Field Study Council centres are close to a wide range of historical settings including Iron-Age hill forts, medieval timber-framed buildings, Roman remains, castles and watermills that can really bring the past to life by being there.

Geography and Science

Of course there are plenty of ideas and sessions for Geography and Science outside the classroom, like the adventurous Geo-Journey, Science Rocks and Secret Ponds, all linking back to the new National Curriculum content and creating memorable experiences for children.

About the Field Studies Council

With FSC, school trip organisers can pick and choose from all the sessions to develop their own tailored course – whether they are looking for adventurous experiences, focusing on a particular area of the curriculum or a combination of both. 

FSC staff can help to identify and develop themes across the course to help link it back to work in the classroom and even tailor sessions to suit groups’ interests and abilities.

Field teachers at the centres will deliver the content throughout your stay. They promise to get to know the children and to adapt the teaching to their needs.

The council has a network of day and residential field centres across the UK, all with expert field teachers who will lead children throughout their school trip.

For further school trip information contact:

0845-345 4071

The Field Studies Council (FSC) is an education charity, dedicated to providing fieldwork and outdoor learning opportunities for all ages since it was created 70 years ago. 

School Travel Organiser's Guide