Outdoor Learning Support and Resources

There are a lot of organisations in Moray that can provide support and resources to help you deliver effective and enjoyable Outdoor Learning experiences.  Moray Council supports the use of Approved Activity Providers (AAP) and volunteers to increase your capacity to deliver Outdoor Learning.

Approved Activity Providers

AAPs are normally specialists in delivering aspects of Outdoor Learning, from a simple bushcraft event to advanced outdoor sports activities.They will have trained, experienced staff and the equipment to deliver activities that are outwith the in house resources of schools.

Because these providers have been checked and approved by Moray Council, schools and establishments can use AAPs with confidence that they have appropriate safety management systems in place to support young people taking part in the planned activity.

Schools can use other providers, but they must assure themselves that they meet the necessary standards.

Moray Council will maintain an up to date list of Approved Activity Providers.

Moray Outdoor Learning Group

Moray Outdoor Learning Group (MOLG) was formed as a means of supporting teachers and practitioners in developing Outdoor Learning, whether that was a means of enhancing mainstream lessons or building on the Curriculum for Excellence.

The concept of the MOLG is as a forum for like-minded individuals to get together on a regular basis to share ideas, queries and best practice.  We would like each ASG to have a representative to act as a focal point.

We will use this page to share information about MOLG meetings and the ideas raised by this forum.  We will also share information on other opportunities for collaboration and learning about Outdoor Learning

Dates for MOLG meetings in 2020/21 are to be decided.  We will post on this web page when meeting dates are confirmed.

ASG Outdoor Learning Contacts

ASG Contact Person School Email Address
Buckie ASG Dawn Thomson Findochty Primary School dawn.thomson6@moray-edunet.gov.uk
Elgin Academy ASG Martin Collins Seafield Primary School Martin.Collins11@moray-edunet.gov.uk
Elgin High School ASG Susan Rose Elgin High School susan.rose@moray-edunet.gov.uk
Forres ASG

Jane Oag

Angela Mitchell

Forres Academy



Keith ASG Carly Ralfs Keith Grammar School RalfsC@moray-edunet.gov.uk
Lossiemouth ASG Laura McGurk Lossie High School laura.mcgurk.@moray-edunet.gov.uk
Milne's ASG Pip Wheeler Milne's Primary School WheelP@moray-edunet.gov.uk
Speyside ASG      

Anyone interest in joining the MOLG is invited to contact the Outdoor Learning Office for more information.

As part of Moray council's commitment to Outdoor Learning Chris Gransden and Andy Geenhalgh will be available to support the forum.

Moray Outdoor and Woodland Learning Group

Moray OWL group is the local branch of OWL Scotland.  Its members have a wealth of knowledge in working in, and teaching and training in the Outdoor environment.  They are able to offer training courses in Outdoor Learning and have a range of teaching and training aids that are available for schools and other establishments to use.

Contact details for Moray OWL group:



Contact Person:

Alan Smith - alansmith@cairngorms.co.uk
Telephone - 01479 870518

Other Useful Links

Going Out There - National guidance from the Scottish Government and SAPOE on Off-site visits.  this is a very useful document and forms the basis for Moray Council's policy for Outdoor Learning and excursions.

Education Scotland - Outdoor Learning pages from Education Scotland, providing support and guidance for Outdoor Learning.

Outdoor Learning Directory - Lots of useful links and information.

Tri-o, Orienteering Made Easy (PDF) is a useful tool for introducing orienteering to young people.

Outward Bound Trust Games gives a range of activities for groups.

New Opportunities Fund - The Big Lottery Fund hands out half the good causes money from National Lottery.

TSI Moray is a good resource if you are looking for volunteers to support your OL, or for placements for young people who want a volunteering opportunity.

MDEAC - Moray DofE Awards Committee have been set up to support and fund DofE in Moray.  They may be able to support DofE in your school or establishment.  In particular they can help fund training for staff or adults supporting DofE, support young people with barriers to undertaking DofE. 

Return to Work Guidance for Licensed Providers (Covid)

Moray Outdoor Learning Resources

The following resources will help you plan, organize and deliver Outdoor Learning sessions.

You will find forms to help you plan off-site visits and manage communication within your school or establishment and with young people and their parents/guardians.

You will find generic risk assessments that can be used as a starting point for developing your own site or activity specific risk assessments.  Further guidance on assessing risk can be found in the Moray Council Guidance for Off-site Excursions.  If you have any questions on risk assessment you can also contact the Outdoor Learning Team at DofEMoray@moray.gov.uk.

Planning and Management Forms for Off-site Excursions

The following forms can be used to record initial approval for off-site visits or excursions, to help plan excursions and to communicate with parents/guardians. Please note: All off-site visits and excursions must be recorded on EVOLVE.

These forms provide important information for planning for incidents or emergencies.

Please note:  In accordance with Moray Council Guidance for Off-site Excursions the Emergency Response Card should be carried by all staff or volunteers supporting the excursion.  It is recommended that young people, who are not being directly supervised, also carry a copy of this form.

  • Emergencies Information
  • Emergency Response Card

Example Risk Assessments

The following risk assessment forms provide a template for developing excursion or site specific for curricular or local activities. Risk assessments should be reviewed and shared before each excursion to cover risks particular to an event, location or the individuals involved in the activity.

Generic Risk Assessments for Adventurous Activities

The following generic risk assessments are provided as a guide for Visit Leaders.  They include the adventurous activities that can be undertaken under the auspices of Moray Council's Adventurous Activities License.  These risk assessments should be read carefully during the planning phase for an excursion.  The risks listed should be assessed for each excursion to ensure they are appropriate.  The assessment must include specific risks associated with the activity, the venue, the time of year, predicted weather and the experience and/or capability of participants.

Any additional controls required to manage the risks already identified on the risk assessments should be added in column 4.   Members of staff or volunteers responsible for actioning these control measures should be nominated in column 5.  Column 6 should be used to annotate that additional control measures have been put in place.

Any additional risks that have been identified can be added as extra rows in the risk assessment form or included in an additional risk assessment.

If any of the generic risks do not apply to your planned excursion, they can be annotated as not applicable.

Before commencing any activity the Visit Leader and Head of Establishment must satisfy themselves that the control measures put in place have reduced the risks to an acceptable level.  

Other adventurous activities may be carried out, but establishments will need to use an AAP to provide instructors, supervisors and equipment.

Please contact the Outdoor Learning Team if you want any more information on planning an excursion or carrying out risk assessments.

Resources for Training

The following resources are available through the Outdoor Learning Office.  Please use the contact details below.

Tent Tipi - portable, to shelter 12-14 adults comfortable, great for temporary outdoor class / shelter for visits to local places.

Ghillie Kettles - x 3 varying sizes perfect for simple firelighting sessions and providing hot drinks.

GPS Garmin 10 - set of 3, can be used for navigation, geocaching, setting and following trails and more.

Other resources are available, please ask if you need assistance.

Moray Contacts

Willem Smit (Quality Improvement Manager) - willem.smit@moray.gov.uk
Chris Gransden (Outdoor Learning Officer) - chris.gransden@moray.gov.uk
Telephone 07890 275514
Andrew Greenhalgh (Outdoor Learning Officer) - andrew.greenhalgh@moray.gov.uk
Telephone 07800 670654

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