Children are our future, embrace their curiosity

Helen is an award winning lecturer with an international reputation for her work on the outdoor teaching and learning environment. She is a passionate and inspirational teacher and a sought after keynote speaker. Helen’s publication in 1998 was a ground – breaking book on the early years outdoor environment, and has set a solid foundation and paved the way for this environment to be legitimised as a teaching space.

Her interest in the teaching and learning environment has always been at the forefront of her teaching and research, and this expertise has been transferred from working with young children as a teacher, to working with adults as a lecturer.

Helen has been researching the outdoor environment for the last 35 years. She

  • is the leading educational specialist in this area,
  • has written extensively on the issue, including seven books (the earliest being the first complete text on the subject since 1936); her first publication, a classic, now in its third edition, Outdoor Learning in the Early Years, Management and Innovation is a complete compendium for all who work with young children,
  • contributes to many other publications and journal articles on a wide range of topics.

Helen’s publications are:

  • grounded in good practice
  • thought provoking
  • full of ideas and resources
  • backed up with research
  • essential reading 
  • inspiring
  • straightforward

Complete list of publications

Helen has extensive experience in teaching all aspects of Early Years but she is most closely associated with the outdoor teaching and learning environment for young children.


She is:

  • an invited speaker to conferences across the UK and internationally and
  • acts as an adviser for schools and local authorities.

Get in touch with Helen

Helen ensures her work reflects the good practice that is going on in schools and settings across the globe.

Recently she has been researching into:

  • the place of playtime/recess/breaktime/lunchtime in schools.

Research projects

Helen is known for her passion and commitment to the learner, whether they be 3 or 53. Ultimately Helen wants learners to think and think objectively.

Academic Positions

  • Present2017

    Professor of Outdoor Learning, Programme Director- Postgraduate Taught

    Institute of Education University of Reading

  • 20132007

    Programme Director PGCE Primary

    Institute of Education University of Reading

  • 20062003

    Programme Director Student Associate Scheme

    Institute of Education University of Reading

Education & Training

  • PhD 2015

    Early years: Teaching and learning in the outdoor environment

    Institute of Education University of Reading

  • MA 1989

    MA Educational Studies

    University of Surrey, Roehampton

  • BA (Hons) 1979

    BA Politics

    University of Newcastle


  • 2015
    University Teaching Fellow
  • 2014
    Senior Fellow Higher Education Authority
  • 2013
    University Teaching and Learning team award
  • 2012
  • 2011
    Early Career Teaching Fellow
  • 2010
    School Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning