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The Outdoor Learning Environment Standard (PDF 920KB) details the minimum and recommended standards for creating and maintaining an outdoor learning environment that provides children with optimal learning opportunities and can be used across government and non-government organisations to support this outcome.
View more information and see examples from 20 demonstration outdoor learning environments across metropolitan and regional South Australia.
This standard is to be read in conjunction with the design standards (PDF 1.1MB) which provide guidelines for contractors who design, build and maintain SA government schools and preschools.
Schools or preschools considering developing their own outdoor learning environments need to consider:
- design and planning the space for children’s learning outcomes
- design standard for quality and safety
- risk management processes and procedures.
Nature Play SA has developed a range of resources to assist schools and preschools in understanding the risks and challenges that come with outdoor learning environments and how they can be used to optimise learning opportunities through diverse and meaningful experiences.
The Learning Outdoors – Benefits Risks guide should be read in conjunction with the Outdoor Learning Environment Standard (PDF 920KB) to create a balanced approached to developing and maintaining outdoor learning environments.
The following resources have been developed by the department to guide the development of outdoor learning environments:
- Vision and values statement (PDF 377KB) guidance on designing and planning outdoor learning areas that are flexible and dynamic.
- Preschool outdoor learning area design guide (PDF 333KB) addresses the principles, elements and objectives of an outdoor learning environment in an early childhood service. This guide must be used when developing outdoor learning areas.
Site leaders must exercise their professional judgement to analyse the risks against the benefit of play activities to optimise learning outcomes for children and young people. These tools and processes are provided to help with that assessment.
- Guide to the education risk benefit assessment template (PDF 127KB)
- Education risk benefit assessment template (PDF 170KB)
- Completed template example (PDF 186KB).
For advice on the Outdoor Learning Environments Standard please contact:
Asset Policy and Environmental Resources
Phone: 8226 0091
Email: Education.PolicyComms [at] sa.gov.au
For specific advice relating to early childhood outdoor learning environments contact:
Learning Improvement division
Phone: 8226 4169
Email: Education.LIDEarlyYears [at] sa.gov.au
For advice on approval processes and engaging contractors through the schools or preschool's facilities manager contact:
Asset Support centre
Phone: 1800 810 076
Email: Education.asc [at] sa.gov.au
Asset Standards and Environmental Management
For enquiries regarding standards
Phone: 8226 0091
Email: education.standards [at] sa.gov.au
For enquiries regarding sustainable infrastructure
Phone: 8226 3497
Email: education.environment [at] sa.gov.au