Outdoor Learning for Key Stage 1

Key stage 1 outdoor learning

Outdoor Learning for Key Stage 1

Painshill offers a range of curriculum-based outdoor learning activities for Year 1 and Year 2 which incorporate outdoor play and encourage teamwork. Each led activity uses a different approach to help pupils connect with the environment and their fellow classmates.

Learning for Key Stage 1

Activities will be tailored to your school group and the weather but can include any of the following: 

Living Things & Habitats

Go hunting for minibeasts that live in Painshill’s meadows and woodlands or pond dip to discover creatures in the shallow lake. Through play and games, pupils learn about how creatures live, their habitats and how to identify them.

Key Stage 1 bug hunting
plant explorer

Plant Explorers

Take the life journey of a Painshill plant. Starting as tiny seeds, pupils use games to disperse, germinate and avoid hungry birds to grow into terrific trees. Using their imagination and new-found knowledge, pupils make a micro-garden.

Fairytale Story Walk

Pupils go on a story walk through the magical Painshill landscape, past temples, towers and ruins. Pupils join in the storyteller’s tale with drama, dance, games and amazing props.

outdoor art

Wild Art

Pupils begin their art adventure with a leaf hunt, searching for different shapes, textures and sizes. Pupils use their imagination, observational skills and a variety of media to create a landscape painting.

A Day in the Stone Age

Travel back in time to experience a day in the Stone Age. Forage for tasty herbs, gather ancient medicines and track wild beasts through Painshill’s open grassland and wild woods. Use prehistoric hunting techniques with our catch a mammoth game before taking the spoils of the hunt (marshmallows!) back to camp to roast over the fire while banging out a Stone Age song on homemade instruments. Use the charcoal from the fire, along with chalk, clay and natural colours to make a sprit animal mask.

Den Building

Pupils use natural materials to build and weatherproof their dens before a final camp inspection and waterproof testing. Den Building can be adapted for different projects, for example, roundhouse settlements, historic dwellings or survival shelters.

Key Stage 1 den building
dragon quest

Dragon Quest

Set out on a mysterious quest to discover the very last Dragon’s egg and save this magical species from extinction. Working in teams, pupils must follow the Dragon Guide through the fiendish traps and challenges laid by the Dragon Hunters.

Pirate Adventure

Come dressed up as a pirate for a day of swashbuckling challenges. This includes peg-leg races, sea-monster making and other exciting pirate challenges. Pupils follow clues to find the buried treasure at the end of the day.

Pirate adventure


Painshill is the perfect place to find out about explorers, investigating how our collection of plants and trees made its way here from around the world and find out about the explorers from those far flung places. Discover how people travelled as they explored many years ago, including crossing the Atlantic and First Nation tribes of North America. Become Pocahontas or Sherpa Tenzing Norgay to investigate the important role of indigenous peoples to expeditions. After exploring Painshill made your own natural map and tell the world (well your class) about what you have discovered.

Sensational Seasons

Use all your senses to explore the seasons at Painshill. Come in Autumn and see the colourful leaves, Winter and experience an icy wonderland, Spring to see the woodland flowers or Summer for long hot summer days. With wild weather games, sensory scavenger hunts and nature craft.

poet tree

Poet Tree

Go on an adventure with words to find the magical poet tree. Take on exciting wordy challenges to solve riddles. Pupils make massive word picture using describing words they have found on their adventure.


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Things to See & Do

Painshill is an award-winning 18th century landscape garden where you are invited to walk around a work of art. Winding paths will take you on a journey to discover a living canvas with beautiful vistas and dramatically placed garden buildings. Stroll around the Serpentine Lake, wander through woodland and promenade past follies, including the Ruined Abbey, Gothic Temple and Turkish Tent.

Painshill map - transparent background