Countryside Classroom - Connecting schools with food, farming and the natural environment

Growing Schools has been re-launched as Countryside Classroom, the largest ever partnership of organisations who are committed to helping children learn about food, farming and/or the natural environment.

It is the vision of Countryside Classroom that schools and teachers across the UK will embrace food, farming and the natural environment as essential components of a broad and balanced curriculum, incorporating them into day-to-day learning. As a result of this, every child will have the opportunity to learn about and experience these topics in diverse ways that are increasingly supported by experiences outside the classroom.

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Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

The Council for Leaning Outside the Classroom are a registered charity existing to champion learning outside the classroom (LOtC) and encourage young people to get out and about because research shows that children learn best through real world, hands on experiences. The Council took over responsibility for the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto in April 2009.

We believe that EVERY child should be given the opportunity to experience life and lessons beyond the classroom walls as a regular part of growing up. These experiences expand the horizons of young people, opening their eyes to the wonders of areas such as art, heritage, culture, adventure and the natural world. We ensure that more young people have access to these life changing educational experiences by providing support on the ground, facilitating the sharing of best practice and promoting the benefits of LOtC in raising attainment and aspirations, reducing truancy and re-motivating those who are disengaged from their education.

How do CLOtC encourage more learning outside the classroom?

The CLOtC is responsible for:

  • Influencing and challenging learning outside the classroom policy and practice
  • Raising the profile of learning outside the classroom and promoting the benefits
  • Providing support for education and LOtC professionals, aiming for good quality learning outside the classroom that meets the needs of young people

The ‘Out and About Package’ package was launched in 2008 to support learning outside the classroom through:

  • The LOtC website ( which provides ‘How to’ guidance designed to help schools, educational practitioners and other groups (early years and youth groups for example) carry out inspiring and varied LOtC activities.
  • The LOtC Quality Badge. This is a national benchmark recognising organisations that provide good quality educational experiences and manage risk effectively.  Supported by the majority of Local Authority Outdoor Education Advisers, the Quality Badge makes it easier for anyone organising educational visits to gain approval and provides assurance that their chosen destination has met 6 nationally recognised quality indicators.  Read more about the Quality Badge.