Teachers and schools

Our Learning Programme combines the Curriculum for Excellence and outdoor learning with the heritage on your doorstep to create engaging, contextualised and exciting learning journeys for your pupils. Consider our free learning opportunities if are you looking for: bespoke, hands-on and engaging school workshops for your pupils; innovative, relevant CLPL sessions and teaching resources that cross the curriculum. Discover. Investigate. Enjoy. Celebrate!
Urban Outdoor Learning

For pupils, contextualised outdoor learning has proven benefits in terms of:

  • increased engagement with their surroundings and curriculum topics
  • improved concentration in class
  • improved health and wellbeing
  • developed confidence and communication skills
  • enhanced problem-solving and teamwork skills
  • a sense of place

Our Urban Outdoor Learning Programme embraces the main principles of Outdoor JourneysQuestioning, Researching and Sharing (developed by Simon Beames from the University of Edinburgh). However, you do not need to travel far and you do not need to be in the countryside. Our programme enables learners of all ages to engage with outdoor learning in a meaningful way using what is in their town or city. It contextualises learning by looking at the history, buildings and people in your local area. 

School Workshops

Our Urban Outdoor Learning Programme workshops include topics for both Primary and Secondary school pupils. All our workshops are flexible and provide interactive and creative learning experiences.

Tell us your topic or idea and we will help bring this to life with our dedicated resources, training and digital materials.


Primary school workshops

All our primary school workshops offer a flexible and interdisciplinary approach looking to enhance your pupils’ knowledge of your chosen topic while building on the main capacities: successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

Outdoor learning is embedded within the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and Education Scotland has emphasised the need to use outdoor learning to provide powerful learning experiences. We have coupled this with the Outdoor Journeys approach – Questioning, Researching and Sharing – to create our Urban Outdoor Learning Programme.

We will use your local area to conceptualise your class topics and enable you to meet the requirements for outdoor learning.


Secondary school workshops

We want your pupils to be inspired by their local heritage, to gain new skills, experiences and insights into their local environment.

Using what is on your doorstep we offer free workshops for secondary pupils, including:

  • Photography and Film Making
  • Surveying and Recording
  • Building Sketching
  • Heritage Careers

Please contact our Learning Officer, Fiona Watson, at fiona.isobel.watson@hes.scot for more information, to discuss an idea or to arrange a workshop.

Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) 

We offer a full programme of free CLPL sessions for teachers across Scotland. Our CLPL sessions will give you the skills, experience and knowledge to actively encourage discovery, investigation and learning of Scotland’s urban past through a variety of classroom and outdoor activities.

All our sessions are flexible and are tailored to your local area. We also offer daytime and twilight sessions in your school. If you cannot see a CLPL session to match your requirements, please get in touch and let us tailor an activity to your pupils’ needs.

For more information or to arrange a CLPL session at your school, please contact our Learning Officer, Fiona Watson, at  fiona.isobel.watson@hes.scot



This interactive session offers a basic introduction to photography, composition and the practical applications of photography in different areas of the curriculum.


Our Town

We tailor all our workshops to your local area and this workshop is no exception. In this exciting session we will work with teachers to investigate, research and find new ways of exploring your urban heritage. We will provide helpful resources and methods of gathering information with your pupils before getting hands on and going outside to investigate further. Learn how to pull your research, investigation and explorative findings into an exhibition or trail with your class.


School Architects

Learn the basics of surveying and recording, architectural principles and how to investigate the buildings around you. Then take inspiration from your local environment and school building/playground to create your own 2D maps and even 3D models. During this CLPL session we reflect on the connections between urban architecture and the Curriculum for Excellence. 


Map and digital resources

We look at using maps in the classroom and other new digital resources to make the urban outdoor environment more accessible for your pupils and improve engagement with classroom topics. You will create your own maps during this workshop as well.

Useful Links 
A photograph of two girls with surveying and recording equipment.