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The best way to use this map:


  1. Click on many different pins to learn about each settings’ experiences.
  2. Use the small arrows to scroll through each case study’s photos and text, left to right.
  3. Use the filters to drill down further based on specific criteria that you are interested in.
  4. Contact us on the email below for more information or if something doesn’t look right.


We believe that quality outdoor or nature-based education that empowers children’s voices is achievable by any early years setting regardless of location, size or socioeconomic background. 


That is why we have made this map publicly available – to show practical examples of early years settings around Scotland that demonstrate their exemplary practice of nature-based, child-led inquiry.


We hope it will give confidence to other early years practitioners when they see the positive impact that outdoor education can have on the children and the team of practitioners.


Virtual Nature School is a project run by Dr Clarie Warden and her team at Living Classrooms (a Community Interest Company) based in Scotland. 


With the support of the Scottish Government, VNS has reached 1,000s of practitioners around Scotland by providing an innovative training and group coaching programme that allowed practitioners to work directly with children while applying the lessons they were learning.


The case studies shown in this map were part of Cohort 3 which ran over 6 weeks in Spring 2021. The theme of the 6-week block was “The possibilities of Looking” and each week, Dr Claire Warden provided provocations that practitioners could use to invite children on an exploration relevant to their local environment based on a theme of Looking Up, Down, Through, In, At and Under.


The open-ended nature of the programme resulted in a beautiful kaleidoscope of expressions as can be evidenced in the case studies on the map. 


More details about Virtual Nature School can be found on our main website:


For all enquiries, please email us on the address below.