Teachers' Resources

Teach your pupils how to build a giant nest, create a butterfly garden or make their own family tree!

The resources provided here have been submitted by Heritage Experts, teachers or prepared by other educational organisations. The resources are both fun and educational and are designed to inspire and develop an appreciation and curiosity about Ireland’s wonderful natural and cultural heritage.

Resources can be searched for under the following categories:

Research and Policy

Heritage Council Child Protection Policy

The Heritage Council’s Child Protection Policy Document deals with the recognition, reporting and management of child safety concerns and will assist anyone working on behalf of The Heritage Council in having due regard for the rights and interests of children.

Ready, Steady, Play: National Play Policy (2004-08)

This is the most recent national policy document available in relation to children and the outdoors. The objective of this policy is to plan for an increase in public play facilities, thereby improving the quality of life of children living in Ireland by providing them with more play opportunities. The document is an outcome of the National Children’s Strategy, launched in 2000 and is aimed specifically at addressing the needs of younger children.

The policy looks at a range of issues, including: guiding principles; a partnership approach between the statutory, community, voluntary and private sectors; developing a play infrastructure; safety and public liability insurance; and funding arrangements.

Barnardos: Outdoor Play Matters

This booklet is for parents and carers of young children up to the age of six, although most of the information applies to children of all ages. It highlights the benefits of outdoor play and shows how playing outside supports your child’s development.

Aistear Guidelines for Good Practice Play

Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland. It describes learning and development through the four interconnected themes of Well-being, Identity and Belonging, Communicating, and Exploring and Thinking. Chapter 3 – ‘Learning & Developing through Play’ outlines how play relates to these themes and how best to facilitate play among young children.

Wild Child Poll - Qualitative Survey (2010)

This research, commissioned by Heritage Council, was undertaken in order to understand the types of activities that today's adults undertook as children, and the extent to which their own children undertake the same activities today.

Children & the Outdoors: Research Reports (2015)

The objective of this research, commissioned by the Heritage Council, was to review existing research and relevant literature around children’s relationship with the outdoors and natural heritage from a children’s rights perspective. This included examining and analysing current trends and identifying gaps in the research on this subject, particularly in the Irish context.

Learning In The Outdoors: Research By Natural England (2012)

The UK's Natural Environment White Paper - The Natural Choice: Securing the Value of Nature sets out the need to strengthen the connection between people and nature, and gives an explicit call for every child in England to be given the opportunity to experience and learn about the natural environment.

To help achieve this ambition, the UK Government sets out several key reforms which include a commitment to removing challenges and increasing teachers' and schools' abilities to teach outdoors. It is within this context that Natural England undertook the following three pieces of research which explore different aspects relating to outdoor education.

Child Protection Policy

This policy document deals with the recognition, reporting and management of child safety concerns and will assist anyone working on behalf of the Heritage Council in having due regard for the rights and interests of children.

From Apathy To Empathy: Reconnecting People & Place Symposium

A symposium with leading international and national experts in place-based education took place in August 2012 in Kinvara, Co. Galway. This unique event brought together thinkers and practitioners who specialise in the theme of place-based learning, which encourages the use of the local environment as a learning resource. Feedback from organisers, speakers and attendees is available to listen to on Sound Cloud.

A Guide for Schools on Climate Action UNESCO

Does your school want to help create a healthier, fairer, more environmentally sustainable society? Do you want to empower children and young people to do the same? Do you want to make your school more climate-friendly? If so, this guide is for you!

The guide is organised in four parts. Part 1 explains why you and your school should take on a whole-school approach to climate action. Part 2 outlines how your school can plan, put into practice, and evaluate your own strategies and visions for reducing climate change. Part 3 provides six guidelines that suggest how to concretely include climate action in your school governance, teaching and learning, campus and facility management, and partnerships with the community. The guidelines are accompanied by examples showing how schools around the world are taking action. At the end of the guide, in Part 4, you will find a table to help you monitor action in the thematic areas along the six guidelines.