Education for a Sustainable World- Using ‘Loose Parts’ in Education



Architect Simon Nicholson in 1972 developed the Theory of Loose Parts; materials that can be moved around, designed and redesigned, and tinkered with to create infinitely more opportunities for creative engagement than static materials and environments. 

Key facts

On campus
Off campus
Short session
15 (KS3 & 4) 20 (KS5)
Key Stage
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 5
Gatsby benchmarks
3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
7. Encounters with further and higher education
8. Personal guidance

Example programme

12-12.15 Welcome and Overview of Activity

12.15-13.45 Masterclass Mini Lecture/ Interactive workshop

The session will begin with a discussion of theory underpinning Loose Parts in Education. This will be followed by an interactive workshop whereby participants investigate loose parts and recycled items to consider the learning and holistic benefits of the activities and uses they can find for their materials. Participants are encouraged to converse throughout and discuss their findings to close
the session.


Plenary and a chance for an informal chat to ask any questions.

Access to computers will be required for this session.

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021