School grounds

School grounds, and outdoor areas in early years settings, allow outdoor play and learning to take place every day. Whatever your school grounds are like, they can provide a real stimulus for lessons in all subjects. For Maths, there are plenty of areas, shapes and angles to explore; in Science, experiments can be on a larger scale in the play ground; and in creative subjects a new perspective can be gained by simply going outdoors. To make the most of learning in the school grounds, gardens, seating or habitat areas can be created, as well as imaginative areas for play.

British Trust for Conservation Volunteers

BTCV can provide help and advice to run a school- based conservation group, and some regions provide a specialised service to schools wanting to improve their grounds.


This programme provides a framework to help schools become a more stimulating place in which to learn, whilst reducing the environmental impact of the whole school community. One of the benefits of taking part in Eco-Schools is the improvements that are made to the school environment, both inside the school buildings and within the school grounds.

Fields in Trust

FIT is dedicated to protecting and improving outdoor sports and play spaces and facilities. They campaign to protect playing fields and help local communities enhance their fields.


These websites offer suggestions on possible funding opportunities for schools wishing to either use their grounds creatively or to develop them to enhance their curriculum. Some have specific time restrictions, but many are more open ended.

Garden Organic

the UK's leading organic-growing charity, provides information on organic gardening for schools


operates locally, regionally and nationally in the UK, helping young people get involved practically in making decisions and managing improvements in their school grounds and other local environments.

Growing Schools

A government programme to encourage and inspire all schools to use the outdoor classroom, both within and beyond the school grounds, as a context for learning across the curriculum. The website has extensive resources including many activities that can be carried out in school grounds

Learning through Landscapes

LTL helps schools and early years settings make the most of their outdoor spaces for play and learning through its membership services. Website has links to resources, toolkits, publications and programmes such as the annual National School Grounds Week.

Local Authorities

These two sites offer advice suitable for any school considering developing and enhancing their grounds. They offer step-by-step guidance suggesting ways the whole school can be involved in the project as well as how to avoid may of the potential pitfalls on the way.

The Outdoor Classroom

Educational use, landscape design and management of school grounds, DfES, Building Bulletin 71 (2nd edition) 1999 can be downloaded from:

Play England

This organisation aims for all children and young people in England to have regular access to free, inclusive, local, play provision. Play England provides advice and support to promote good practice, and works to ensure that the importance of play is recognised by policy makers, planners and the public.

Royal Horticultural Society

The RHS provides advice and information, plus an interactive game for children,  through its Campaign for School Gardening.

Square-foot gardening

A technique from America which helps maximise the potential of a small site for growing activities.


A national charity that makes use of gardening to change the lives of disabled people. Their information service offers support and advice on many aspects of social and therapeutic horticulture.