Information & Resources
Information & Resources

Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE)

For the past few years Playwork Partnerships have been working to develop the use of the outdoor space around the back of the main University building on Oxstalls campus as a specific outdoor learning environment for use across faculties, in particular those of sport, children's play, health & well-being, and the performing arts.

This is a unique and innovative opportunity for the University to develop an outdoor facility to support active learning, to complement the ongoing development and use of indoor active learning environments, and help take forward the University vision:

"To be a high quality community university with global reach which is passionate about the creation of knowledge and promotion of active learning". (Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategic Framework: Consultation Document, University of Gloucestershire)

Through the development and use of the Outdoor Learning Environment we expect to be able to:

  • Enhance the learning experience of students using the space and increase its use for a range of different learners across faculties, including a performance space for outdoor theatre and events;
  • Increase the delivery of professional playwork and childcare training courses at the University;
  • Develop the physical features, landscape design and accessibility of the site for active learning in conjunction with the Grounds Maintenance Strategy for the University ;
  • Develop sustainable working relationships with local community organisations, particularly those involving children, for using the space;
  • Provide a tangible demonstration of the value of outdoor active learning.

Playwork Partnerships have approached this development project as a multi phased plan alongside key departments within the University including Estates, Natural and Social Sciences, Performing Arts, Applied Sciences as well as external agencies such as Play Gloucestershire.

On the week commencing the 21st March Playwork Partnerships began phase one of developments by running a 4 day Structure Building Course - designed for playworkers & play rangers

The course was run in conjunction with Design + Build Play & Playwork London to deliver their structure building course. And provided a unique opportunity for the twelve delegates to attend a bespoke course delivered by professionals with extensive experience of adventure playgrounds and building structures.

By the end of the course participants had:

  • Understood how construction skills can support the playwork principles
  • Used power and hand tools safely
  • Understood the importance of consulting with children
  • Used risk / benefit assessment in structure design
  • Produced construction risk assessments and plans for health & safety in construction
  • Understood basic design features and structural integrity
  • Taken part in building an outdoor theatre.

The course was a huge success and during the four days that the course ran many visitors from various faculties came to investigate the structure as it was being constructed. Building on this success we have put phase two of the project into motion by planning a "Trapdoors, Tree Houses and Bridges" course. More information on this will be available soon 

Please contact us for more information on OLE or our Design and Build training courses.

Playwork Trainers

Are you a Playwork Tutor/Trainer wanting to deliver a Playwork Partnerships course?


Playwork Resources

Playwork Partnerships has developed a variety of playwork training products that have been developed over a number of years. Here you can access useful materials to help you promote quality play and playwork opportunities.


Want to get involved?

Please contact us if you are interested in finding out about our work in more detail or would like to discuss working together on a development project or commission some research. For information on past project work please click here or for details of past research work click here.