The Education Network for Waltham Forest
Supported by Waltham Forest

Outdoor learning

Early Years Foundation Stage


More children can identify a Dalek than an owl. In the last year 64% played outside less than once a week, 28% hadn't been on a country walk, 21% had never been to a farm and 20% had never once climbed a tree.

Ofsted recognise the importance of learning outdoors: "When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils' personal, social and emotional development."

Children gain enormous benefits from learning outdoors. Being outdoors supports confidence, problem-solving and creativity in the company of other children. Physical activity is enhanced. So is calculated risk taking. In the outdoors, children's use of language is five times greater than indoors.

Suntrap Forest Education Centre is situated in the heart of Epping Forest and has 7 acres of grounds, including an adventure playground with zip wire, ponds and a campsite.

They provide high quality outdoor learning activities for school groups from EYFS to A-level, and training and away days for staff. These activities support classroom-based learning by developing understanding through practical real world experiences.

Suntrap was among the first centres to be awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge, and has continued to hold this award since 2010.

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Last updated: 
Tuesday, 18 October, 2016
Last updated: 18 October 2016 by Barry Fong