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Step three - Design your course

Working together to plan your course

Designing your course

Once you have made a booking, you will be allocated a member of NYOLS staff as your Course Director. You are encouraged to liaise closely with them to make sure your specific learning objectives and student needs are planned for and therefore your course can have a much wider and long lasting impact on learning. Although it’s great to get just get outside and have fun, research has proven that with a clear focus, some preparation and follow-up work the benefits of outdoor learning can be maximised.

Setting your aims

We ask that you decide on the main purpose for your visit, considering the needs and experiences of the group. As a starting point we have found that most outdoor learning goals can be broadly categorised into the following;

Recreational: Focus on fun and enjoyment.
Educational: Skills and knowledge based with links to the curriculum.
Social: Development of the child, interactions and emotions along with the ability to work in a team.
Physical: Health and well being, including fitness and diet.
Environmental: A focus on our interactions with the natural world and environmental knowledge.

We usually find most groups have a focus on one or two of the above and this is a great starting point for us to design a programme that best meets your needs.

You may find our planning forms useful for organising your thoughts. Alternatively just drop us an email.
East Barnby Planning Form          Bewerley Park Planning Form

Choosing your activities

Based on your groups needs your course director will liaise closely with you to choose activities that meet your objectives. Browse the Activity Section of this website to see what we can offer. Different activities can be used to emphasise different outcomes. As an example, canoeing can be used to promote an understanding of teamwork as well as a platform for learning new skills. A day walk in the hills can give the students the time to develop a greater appreciation of the outdoors as well as being great way to get healthy and get some fresh air in the lungs.

Links to Your Curriculum

Our staff have a sound knowledge of the school curriculum and are experts in utilising the outdoor classroom to enrich learning, making meaningful links and building on prior knowledge and understanding. If you’re studying a particular subject or theme in school it’s useful for us to know so that we can help maximise the learning potential.

Student Needs

We understand that every child is different; there are many ways that people learn and interact with the world. The natural environment provides us with a fantastic resource and the ways in which we use it can be adapted to match each child’s learning and physical needs. The more we know about your group at the planning stage, the better we will able to create a bespoke learning experience for each individual.


Our Centres all have a range of facilities and activites that can be used during the evening both indoors and out. Our duty member of staff will be on hand to support you with your requirements but it’s useful to give this some thought a few weeks before your visit. A few of our evening activities do require a brief safety induction and this is best requested prior to your visit so that we can arrange for member staff to be available.


Our staff team are happy to help guide you through the planning process. If you’d like to visit the Centre before your trip or if you’d like us to come to your school to help plan face-to-face or if you’d like us to assist you in delivering a parents evening please get in touch.

Useful Resources

Browse the Resource Area on this website to view a range of additional documents for each Centre that you may find useful, including Kit Lists, Evening Activity Ideas,Learning Journals, Sample Timetable etc.

Helpful Links