Outdoor Education and Learning

Special Vocational High School and Lyceum of Katerini Greece


Sensory and Experiential

Outdoor Education and Learning

The school

Teen-aged students with learning difficulties and health issues that require special and attractive teaching, psychological support and facilitation of their social inclusion are educated in our school.


 The Strategic Planning of the school – the European Development Plan

The development of teaching methods for creating an intervention framework that combines outdoor activities in nature and Equine Assisted Interventions (EAI) is planned for the near future.

Duration of the project – The Training Goal

In the 24 months duration project “Sensory and Experiential Outdoor Education and Learning”  we became familiar with teaching methods in nature and in the social environment.

Five teachers attended three five-day large-scaled courses of intensive experiential activities in nature, in different contexts, courses targeted to teachers of all school grades.

The Hosting Organizations

Kinda Education Centre Sweden (http://www.kinda.se/)

OutdooredEu Czech Republic (http://www.outdoored.eu/)

They both provided high-quality structured training, concerning the methodology of outdoor education.

But most importantly, they contributed to the excellent preparation of the participants and provided support on the following activities, developing an implementation plan at school.

 The mobilities

By the Ocean, in the Woods, in the Park, in the Countryside. Each class was based on “learning by doing” combining “reflection through action”, had constant feedback and the trainers were all day with the participants to support the group dynamics

March 2015 Portugal, Outdoor Leadership developing strategic skills of a flexible leader who organizes and leads groups in the nature with emphasis on the dynamics of management in the educational process

September 2015 Czech Republic, Learning Different Subjects Outdoors),

how to technically convert the outdoor environment in to a classroom and how to turn nature in to a supportive learning tool

 August 2016 Sweden, Taking Learning Outdoors Development of social skills through outdoor group activities

The project

Has implemented in 2015-16, by having a weekly three-hour Outdoor Teaching Course in the schools’ yard nature, with nine teachers and their classes. In 2016-17 we were alternating the lessons with outdoor education in the nearby countryside. Every week we were carrying out a full circle of outdoor activities and now we have officially incorporated outdoor education in the curriculum.

 Project  results

In nature, the students showed increased interest, better memory, had fun, greater concentration, fewer conflicts and learned how to work in groups.

There was important change in the teachers attitude about the use of simple learning tools and they are compelled that nature is an excellent complementary mean for teaching. Being exposed to funny situations when somebody is in the nature and being authentic, is a feeling spread all over the school. The dissemination among the teachers of anything related to the project , took an in school training character.

The impact to us as education professionals

– Working to incorporate outdoor education in the curriculum, we detected the potential of such adjustments.

– We have the experience in choosing the most suitable places for outdoor teaching

  • We learned that Outdoor education needs a detailed preparation and the cooperation among colleagues must be perfect.

The keys for teaching outdoors

  • A good outdoor leader must be authentic and flexible, feel as comfortable as in the classroom, must know the potential of his group and take care of its’ safety.
  • Most subjects (math’s, language) can be teached out of the classroom using proper  activities
  • Nature provides simple teaching tools and materials able to plan lessons without using any technology. With some fantasy we can create a vast variety of outdoor activities
  • There are many different ways to form groups when teaching outdoors and the support of the groups’ dynamics is very important

Ideas for project dissemination

  • Dedicate enough time to transfer your knowledge and training experience to your colleagues – some of them will involve actively in the end

  • If you are in special education make the parents love it
  • Involve the education consultant or your directorate of education – they will surely have a significant role to the dissemination and the evaluation of your project
  • Show your project to other schools in any chance and organize common activities related to your project


  • Keep in touch with your hosting organization and send regularly any material of implementation in your school. You will have substantial feedback
  • Inform the local community not only the education community
  • Use local tv or radio stations or any newspaper to propagate your project

  • Document any of your school activities related to your project and keep a detailed diary. You will have a rich dissemination  material of your effort
  • Make your own Youtube channel, moving image speaks better
  • Keep in touch with your National Agency and participate their events

Document  parts of your training and take back any possible material, it will help you to educate your colleagues back to school

Project experiences that you might use in
your schools/institutions in your projects and in teacher training

The logo of your project must be identifiable for its’ subject and must include all the participating entities

Choose more than one participants for the training (it is better to be a team of three). Support  them during the training in any possible way, make them feel like a team from the beginning.

If possible, involve your head teacher in the training he will better understand what are you going to do and he will be more enthousiastic about it

Let as many colleagues of your school to be involved in the project from the application stage to the implementation. They will more easily accept it and they will feel responsible for its’ success

Connect your project with other activities of the school if you want it to be more viable and have duration

Take advantage of your connection with the hosting organization and the  teachers from all over Europe to apply for a successful KA2 partnership. It will help the evolvement and  maintenance of you project in the school

Ask from the hosting organization for a personal active plan and ways you can use your new skills in your school according to your plan

Our outdoor classes were being  documented , set down and we were keeping a detailed diary of all activities. The pedagogical team had an excellent material for the evaluation and was more capable of doing the proper changes and corrections needed