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Ballyhoura Outdoor Classroom

An outdoor learning environment for schools in Ireland

Call     063 91300

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Make a booking using the online form or by telephone.


We recommend that you download the Fieldtrip Planner and Guidelines for Safe Learning Outdoors from our downloads page and use these to prepare for your fieldtrip.

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A Unique Educational Adventure

Encounters with landscape, habitats, plants & animals

How do I organise a fieldtrip to an Outdoor Classroom?

How do Outdoor Classrooms connect with the curriculum?

Ballyhoura Outdoor Classrooms are accredited national Discover Primary Science and Maths Centres.


Our programmes have links across the Primary School Curriculum, in particular, Social, Environmental and Scientific Education, literacy and the arts. There is also scope for teachers to use our facilities and equipment at Ballyhoura Outdoor Classrooms and follow their own lesson plans. Please view the Outdoor Classrooms as an extension of your own classroom!

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Who'll guide my group?

Who'll guide my group? How many leaders? How much time do I need? DPSM Registration? What if it’s raining? Will others be on site? Age suitability? Size of group possible? I’ve still got more questions! Aren’t we harming wildlife ? How do I organise my visit? How does it link to the Curriculum?

"Having visited the site with my class and lead the activities myself, I think the self-guiding aspect works really well"


Mr. Breen, 5th Class Teacher, Co. Cork.

All programmes are led by one of our trained educators. Our educators will facilitate all the activities on the day and guide the teachers in where they can have lunch and use the facilities.


For teachers who prefer to take a lead role and guide their own fieldtrip, every assistance and support will be provided. At Griston Bog, we can provide sample lesson plans and equipment to teachers who would like to self guide.

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How many leaders are needed?

This depends on the size of your class. It is recommended that groups bring one leader per 10 children. Note that it is the school’s responsibility to ensure an adequate adult:child ratio is maintained.

Do we have to be a DPSM registered school to follow the Discover Science and Maths Programmes?

No, all schools have the option of following the Discover Science and Maths programmes. However to gain DPSM Award certification the school must register and follow the award guidelines.

Will there be other schools or people at the Outdoor Classroom at the same time as us?

These sites are also public amenities and remain open to walkers and visitors. Children should therefore be supervised as they would in a museum or other public space.

How much time do I need for my school visit?

Our programmes are made up of a series of educational activities and take approximately 2 hours in total. Longer and shorter visits are possible too.

What if it’s raining?

Assume it will be raining!  Site facilities and activities have been designed to work in the rain.

Make sure that you and the children are dressed for the rain, wind and cold. Schools are advised to bring appropriate rain jackets and trousers, plus adequate footwear and spare clothes.


In the case of severe inclement weather there is shelter and activities that can accommodate school groups. Your fieldtrip can still be just as much fun in the rain if the children are dressed appropriately.

Aren’t we harming wildlife by picking plants and catching insects?

Large-scale and random collecting would certainly harm wildlife. To avoid this, we have designed our activities to steer the children towards plants and insects that are common and away from rarer species.


Only small fragments of plants are ever collected and the lesson plans for activity specify amounts. All animals must be returned to their homes.

Age suitability?

Each Ballyhoura Outdoor Classroom has been designed to be safe and appropriate for all ages.  

Size of group possible?

Each Ballyhoura Outdoor Classroom has its own capacity (between 40-60 children) so check in the description of each site how many children can be accommodated.

I’ve still got more questions!

Phone Annette Rea on 063 91300 or email  We’re here to help.

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