Support for Schools
Outdoor Learning is a statutory element of A Curriculum for Excellence. From our experience working in schools we recognise that delivering the promise of “a series of well-planned outdoor learning experiences” is often easier said than done. Time, the weather, the ebbs and flows of the school year as well as teacher trepidation, staffing, the incorrect clothing and the demands of the rest of the curriculum all mean that this is sometimes difficult to realise.
We believe in the power of the outdoors to enhance learning across the curriculum and can deliver to whole classes or small groups depending on your requirements. We can collaborate with class teachers to complement their delivery of a topic or subject area or can provide our own ideas with a particular focus on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
We recognise that outdoor learning can feel intimidating and, at times, another thing to add to an already busy curriculum but we also recognise that it can support children in their learning and provide memorable experiences as well as a number of hidden outcomes. We also recognise that Outdoor Learning CPD is often delivered in spectacular settings that make the outdoor spaces available in schools feel inferior and devoid of opportunity.
Our CPD sessions consist of 3 distinct parts:
Part 1: In school delivery of an outdoor learning session in which teachers and support staff observe how the space can be used.
Part 2: Joint delivery of session in tandem with class teacher
Part 3: We will return to the school to observe and support teachers in their delivery of an outdoor session.
We provide each class with an outdoor learning starter kit to support delivery from the outset.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), all children have a right to an education (Article 28) which develops their "personality, respect for others’ rights and the environment" (Article 29). For some children, being outside of the classroom is sometimes all it takes to increase their engagement and uphold these rights while also addressing their mental health needs.
Our sessions are designed to suit children throughout compulsory education and we offer a range of approaches including play-based, bushcraft, environmental and conservation programmes. They are responsive to the young people who attend and will aim to develop their practical skill base while supporting them in building their self-esteem and ability to interact with their contemporaries.
As qualified teachers we recognise incidental links to A Curriculum for Excellence as well as how what they are doing meets the well-being indicators outlined by GIRFEC. Play is in itself a form of therapeutic intervention and is particularly impactful when working with children who have experienced trauma.
Sessions are increasingly structured and follow a nature mentoring approach in which core routines are gradually incorporated. We recognise that the young people who benefit from such an approach often have toxic relationships with formal education, and the adults therein, so we seek to build trust while also reducing any similarities to school. We are happy to seek external validation where appropriate (e.g. John Muir Award, ASDAN) and to assess progress using published profiling approaches if required.
Accessing our services
For further information as to how we might be able to support you or your children, please send an email to email@example.com with the subject "Support for Schools".