Diane Rich is a regular speaker at
conferences all over the UK. Themes from conference keynote presentations
include many issues relating to outdoor play.
‘Creativity in children’s outdoor worlds’
‘Setting up outdoor environments: issues and challenges’
‘The value of outdoor provision for children’
‘Outdoor environments and inclusion’
Sometimes she can be persuaded to run seminar or workshop sessions based on
the above presentation themes.Rich Learning Opportunities
and Learning Through Landscapes
Diane visits settings all over the UK
giving support, advice and consultancy services at a range of different levels
on developing outdoor provision and practice.
On behalf of Early Education Diane
commissioned and edited the book by Margaret Edgington The Great Outdoors:
developing children’s learning through outdoor provision (2003, Early
supports the work of the charity Learning Through Landscapes in a variety of
ways. In 2005 she will be speaking at the Learning Through Landscapes National
Conference. In 2004 she represented Learning Through Landscapes, offering
support, advice and consultancy services to new and amalgamating Children’s
Centres. In 2003 and 2004 she was invited to chair a group of consultants and
early years associations and support them in agreeing and developing a
Learning Through Landscapes Vision and Values statement on outdoor provision
Rich Learning Opportunities
endorses the Vision and Values Statement of Learning Through Landscapes.
An outdoor provision survey
In 2003 Diane Rich
initiated, designed and set up a national survey to review outdoor provision
in the UK, while working for Early Education. The aim of her survey was to:
- raise awareness of the importance of high quality outdoor experiences
- gain a picture of the current situation regarding outdoor provision
- identify issues affecting provider’s ability to deliver high quality
- identify ways to provide effective support for the early years sector
(children from birth to 8 years of age)
Diane received over 800 returned
questionnaires. Findings have been analysed by Learning Through Landscapes.
The research pages of the Learning Through Landscapes website give a fuller
report on findings. An initial brief summary finds that:
- 98.5% of respondents reported that outdoor play was essential or
- Many of those stating that it was important qualified their response by
stating that although they felt that outdoor provision it was essential for
children, they could not identify as essential in the survey, as their
setting had no direct access to outdoor provision.
- Only 3 respondents stated that it was not very important.
- Physical development was identified as an important feature of outdoor
provision, with little reference to other aspects of children’s learning and
- 75% of respondents had direct access to outdoor provision
- Interpretations of ‘direct access’ varied
- Access, space and facilities are far from ideal for many early years