Nature Pedagogy is the foundation which our curriculum at Boldon is built upon. It describes how we work with children in our space to connect their experiences between our indoor home from home, our garden and beyond into the community. It is nature and all its wonders that thread these entities together to ensure each and every experience for the child makes sense in their world. Sometimes a difficult concept to grasp, we stand out on the education playing field as a very unique and individual setting. Simply, children spend most (if not all) of their time in nature in our garden.

The time and space they have to learn is led by their own fascinations and without interruption. They use the ‘home’ to support exploration across the seasons to its fullest – popping to the bathroom, a cosy lounge to get warm or change wet socks, an office to research a new endeavour, a dining room to fill a tummy and re-charge, a kitchen to prepare a feast for cooking on the fire or a light filled deeper look at emerging ideas from the outdoors in our studio where materials are precious and easier to use than when exposed to the elements (watercolours in the rain just doesn’t work).

The beyond describes how nature pedagogy emerges into the wider world from already existing ideas, concepts and patterns of play in the garden. As children seek to know more, make bigger connections and understand how in nature things are further connected than what they see every day … the beyond steps in. Although we have a space that has been carefully designed to deliver the curriculum in full through nature some things just need to be bigger, so out we go by mini – bus or on foot to make that next discovery!

Within nature pedagogy there must indeed be a nature pedagogue. A person who lives and breathes by a philosophy that they too believe is right for children in the unique setting they get to spend each day. Past research with many other countries such as the Czech Republic, Norway, Scotland, Italy and Denmark has proven that this exits in many different ‘definitions’ as it is completely distinctive to its own team and the community in which they live.

One thing the countries did agree is that as a nature pedagogue we must hold strong expertise in understanding how to connect children with nature, through knowledge and reciprocal relationships. With that expertise we facilitate learning to happen through motivation and passion for every individual child’s own autonomous ideas, with great confidence and belief in ourselves as individuals too – celebrating as a team what we do best. Gone are the days of rotas in areas and in its place instead staff work in spaces they love and care for, that match their skill set or feed a want to know more.

Staff trust that children are in control of their own learning and scaffold into the world around them, opening doors to aspects of the natural world with confidence. We are partners in play, real listeners, warriors protecting our tiny part of the planet with huge passion for big ideas and concepts that will be apparent in our lives as we grow old. (For further reference see Erasmus project: Characteristics of a nature pedagogue).


  • Immersing ourselves in and with nature – all day everyday
  • A responsibility to connect children with nature
  • Knowledge of our natural world and confidence to scaffold as children make connections
  • Reciprocal relationships between staff, children, parents and the wider community
  • Time and space for all children with no fixed agenda
  • Long periods of uninterrupted play in nature everyday
  • A continuing respect for the world around us, a duty of care to all it gives us and a promise to protect it with sustainability at the forefront
  • A duty to ensure all children are dressed appropriately across the seasons, wearing the correct kit – no matter what the weather
  • The use of a ‘home from home’ instead of a typical classroom that fully supports our experiences in and with nature
  • Striving for authentic experiences that naturally progress across days, weeks and months
  • A commitment to sharing our ethos with parents and colleagues
  • A deeper understanding of how things connect in our world, the cycles we live through and a commitment to connecting our youngest people to them