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Resources for creating outdoor learning environments

The Outdoor Learning Environment Standard (PDF 1.7 MB) details the minimum and recommended standards for creating and maintaining an outdoor learning environment that provides children with optimal learning opportunities and can be used across government and non-government organisations to support this outcome.

View more information and see examples from 20 demonstration outdoor learning environments across metropolitan and regional South Australia. 

This standard is to be read in conjunction with the design standards (PDF 1.1MB) which provide guidelines for contractors who design, build and maintain SA government schools and preschools.

Schools or preschools considering developing their own outdoor learning environments need to consider:

  • design and planning the space for children’s learning outcomes
  • design standard for quality and safety
  • risk management processes and procedures. 

Design and planning

The following resources have been developed by the department to guide the development of outdoor learning environments:

Risk management

Site leaders must exercise their professional judgement to analyse the risks against the benefit of play activities to optimise learning outcomes for children and young people. These tools and processes are provided to help with that assessment.


For advice on the Outdoor Learning Environments Standard please contact:

Asset Policy and Environmental Resources

Phone: 8226 0091
Email: DECD.PolicyComms [at] sa.gov.au


For specific advice relating to early childhood outdoor learning environments contact:

Learning Improvement division

Phone: 8226 4169
Email: DECD.LIDEarlyYears [at] sa.gov.au


For advice on approval processes and engaging contractors through the schools or preschool's facilities manager contact:

Asset Support centre

Phone: 1800 810 076
Email: DECD.asc [at] sa.gov.au

Asset Policy and Environmental Resources

Phone: 8226 0091
EmailDECD.PolicyComms [at] sa.gov.au