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Schools & Young People

Our outdoor learning programme connects children and young people with the natural world and fosters an understanding of nature.


The Community Outreach team supports the Curriculum for Excellence by providing outdoor learning experiences within school grounds, in outdoor natural spaces and by exploring the natural heritage of places cared for by the National Trust for Scotland.

Our services are free to primary and secondary schools in areas of multiple deprivation and groups within schools that face social, cultural, financial or physical barriers.

Currently we are only able to support work within the Lothians and Angus areas.

Take Me Outside

The Take Me Outside programme is designed to increase primary schools’ access to green spaces and nature for outdoor learning as part of the wider Learning for Sustainability agenda. We design our programmes with teachers to help children make connections to the world in which we live.

Learning outdoors is about engaging with children in different ways. This encourages children to become involved in emotional, physical, aesthetic, spiritual and cognitive experiences as part of their learning. 

This programme helps children to understand our planet and the complex life systems it supports through observation, interaction with and interpretation of natural events and changes all year round.  

Through the Take Me Outside programme, we support schools to understand how they can take action at local, national and global levels, to become aware of our impacts and assist in implementing change. 

The Community Outreach team can create continuing professional development (CPD) programmes to increase the confidence of teachers in the delivery of outdoor learning.

Pond dipping with a primary class
Pond dipping with a primary class


Can you remember being totally absorbed outside, experimenting and making discoveries, physically challenging yourself and having fun? Everyone needs to be given opportunities and experiences like these for their all-round development, health, wellbeing and learning.

Everyone can benefit from outdoor learning in the natural environment. For young people aged 12–26 it can help them to build the personal skills required to make a positive and healthy transition into adulthood and support pathways to employability.

Can’t Hold Us

The Can’t Hold Us programme is designed to work with young people from diverse backgrounds to help with their social, emotional and skills development and their understanding of the natural world.

The project combines outdoor learning with complementary achievement awards (eg the John Muir Award), which will support pathways to employability, as well as positive personal outcomes for individuals.

Teenagers watching a deer eating
Teenagers watching a deer eating