Learning outside the classroom

Our History

Acorn Adventure was one of the first providers of outdoor adventure for schools and groups in the UK. Set up by a former teacher in the early 80’s, Acorn originated from the strong belief that learning outside the classroom provides enormous benefits for young people. This came from Andrew Gardiner’s (Acorn’s founder and owner) personal experience of working with children in and outside of the classroom.

“My experiences working with children as a teacher in the early ‘80s gave me the passion to set up Acorn Adventure. A key source of inspiration was to give teachers and young people strong foundations for teaching, learning and life. For several years I had taken students camping and trekking in the Welsh countryside, driven by my own love of the outdoors and childhood memories. I discovered that these trips were enhancing my relationships with students and improving behaviour and learning back at school. This made my job easier and more enjoyable and I could see that others could also benefit. Today, the great outdoors is widely accepted to offer powerful learning experiences and of course a valuable counterbalance to the gadget culture. I still remember my own childhood where we were sent outside in the morning and were told not to come back until tea time! Now children rarely explore beyond their back gardens, so the experience Acorn offers is even more important that when we began”.

Andrew Gardiner

Acorn is a member of the CLOtC (Council for Learning Outside the Classroom) and a LOtC Quality and Adventure Mark holder. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom is the national voice for learning outside the classroom. They believe that every young person (0-19yrs) should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances. You can learn more about the CLOtC by visiting their website.

Here is an interesting article from the CLOtC website about the benefits of outdoor learning and its links to Ofsted inspections and personal and social development:

LOtC website article

In 2015, Ofsted announced that the new common inspection framework would include a judgment on ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’. Learning outside the classroom can offer significant support to schools’ delivery of this area of the framework.

Attitudes and Values
  • Talking about an object in a museum, or visiting a place of worship can give insight into issues, other cultures or periods of history
  • Creating your own work of art can give rise to explorations and understandings about the world and our place in it.
  • A visit to a farm can stimulate debate about animal husbandry and food production, and provide a context for designing a Fairtrade enterprise.
  • Adventure education can provide opportunities to show different skills, such as leadership or teamwork.
  • Seeing a play on the stage can bring a text alive and stimulate conversations about the values and actions of the characters.
  • A residential can provide a different setting for conversations about what we believe and what we think is important.

Adventure education enables young people to test themselves in various ways

01384 398 870


Acorn Adventure

22 Worcester Street,


West Midlands DY8 1AN

Licenced ATOL Operator Adventure Mark Adventure Activities Licensing Authority British Safety Council Institute for Outdoor Learning Association of British Travel Agents BCU-01