A study in 2016 found the average child spends less time outside than a high security prison inmate at 75 minutes per day. In addition, the average roaming range of an 8 year old in 1912 was 8 miles, today it's 250m.
What are the implications of this for child development? Many more children these days are beginning school with poor physical literacy skills and are nonverbal, this has been linked to a lack of outdoor time as it is competing with indoor activities that are perceived as safe. The irony is that in trying to protect children, we are in fact harming them.
We're moving into a new-era as many children globally experience a 'confined' childhood. In response we must embrace an expanded definition of the classroom where all spaces are seen as potential 'places for learning' and stewardship of the environment is at the heart of our practice.
The research is clear and un-controversial, spending time in nature for learning benefits all, pupils and staff alike. Improved engagement, enjoyment, attainment, attendance, behaviour, focus, and health and wellbeing are undisputed.
Connecting with these spaces creates powerful, memorable experiences that a supports greater diversity of children's skills and talents. This approach has the potential to transform the school life of many who are not designed to sit in a classroom.
As we stare down the barrel of an obesity and mental health epidemic in children and the now very real impact of Climate Change, there has never been a time more important than this for children to be learning in a practical way in the natural environment.
If some of your parents were sitting with you right now face to face...and looked you in the eyes, could you answer yes to any of the questions below?
Our 3 Keynote Speakers will address Outdoor Learning from:
A Global Perspective: Its importance, where it fits in our 'Human Ecosystem'.
A School Perspective: Get a blueprint for cultural change and success in embedding an Outdoor Learning approach back at your school.
A Teacher Perspective: Get the tools, practical ideas and methods to teach an engaging curriculum for ALL PUPILS...particularly those who don't readily learn in classrooms!
The event will be jam-packed with practical ideas, best practice, lesson plans and activities that you can take away to enhance the curriculum in so many ways.
Learn from our expert Keynote Speakers and in-depth, hands-on workshops around themes such as:
If you are at the start of this journey or if you are already delivering an 'outdoor-centric' curriculum, our team of experts will help you enhance what you do and awaken the enthusiasm of your learners like never before.
You will also come away with a plethora of written materials and resources from each and every Keynote and workshop provided.
A Teacher Perspective
Jeannette Morgan - Primary Science Teaching Trust
Jeannette Morgan is author of 'STEM Trails' and also a winner of the Primary Science Teacher of the Year Award. Jeannette is a teacher who knows how to create engaging, 'hands on' teaching outside the classroom and generate impactful and memorable learning experiences for pupils.
Her keynote will delve into her approach and methods outlined in her book that enable you to bring all areas of the curriculum to life within your outdoor setting, in even the most urban location. This talk will be packed with practical tips and strategies to engage your learners and help you reflect on how teaching can be made more memorable, enjoyable and engaging.
A School Perspective
John Newton - School Outdoor Learning
John has been a teacher for fifteen years, the last five of which he spent as Head Teacher of Barrow 1618 CofE Primary Free School, in Shropshire and as a school improvement officer.
John is a passionate advocate of Outdoor Learning and has a keen interest in the impact of curriculum design on pupils’ academic and non-academic development. During his keynote, John will share his tried and tested 'Outdoor Learning Skills Progression Document' which provides a blueprint for school success in this area. The ideas John will share helped his school in becoming ‘Outstanding’ in all areas. More importantly, the school community was invigorated, engaged, happy and achieving highly – with academic results consistently above local and national averages at all key stages.
A Global Perspective
James Wallace & Chris Jones - The Natural Trust
Alarmingly, Britain is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, where extinction rates are soaring and record-breaking floods and droughts are the new norm. The effects of climate and ecological breakdown threaten our global life support systems and our children's future.
Distracted by political shenanigans, a shiny corporate career and the lure of the latest brands, we are sleep-walking while our house is on fire. As our children tear their eyes from flickering screens to survey their inheritance, imagine the sense of dread as many realise they are ill-equipped to cope with the potential food, water, energy, health, economic and social crises we have caused.
For some, an awakening from our slumber has begun, but widespread change in how we raise and educate our progeny is slow to come. We are running out of time and our mission is urgent. We need to reconnect our young with the natural world that sustains them, to help them to understand and feel the deep integration between all life and its fragility. If we hurt nature, we hurt ourselves.
If we think globally, act locally and start now, then recovery is in our reach. Join James and Chris to discuss how we prepare the coming generation for their ecological inheritance: to be healthy, aware, empowered and collaborative human beings living in harmony with each other and the rest of nature. Together we will explore how teachers can instil a unifying purpose and practical methods for enhancing outdoor learning at school and promoting ecological resilience within our children and communities.
STEM Trails - Jeannette Morgan, Primary Science Teaching Trust
Following her Keynote speech, Jeannette will dive deeper into STEM Trails and their application across all areas of the curriculum. This practical session will have you exploring your surrounding and filling up on top tips and inspiration to bring the curriculum to life.
Demystifying Ofsted's New Inspection Framework - John Newton
Following on from his Keynote address, John will delve into the new inspection framework and how to develop a robust, challenging curriculum that places children’s engagement with nature at its core. Your school may be among many who are reflecting on the intention, implementation and impact of your current curriculum. With proven research that points to the transformative effect of learning in natural environments, the potential impact on all aspects of school culture and operation is boundless. Find out how.
Enhancing Health & Wellbeing - Lynne Barnett, Manor Lodge School
Access to the outdoors can significantly impact the heath and wellbeing crisis that children and schools are currently facing. Lynne Barnett will share insight into how this can be achieved through connecting with nature and mindfulness. Hosted in her own 'home made' Zen Garden, established over a summer of hard work, Lynne will share with you simple principles on creating spaces whilst showing you practical tools on how to use them.
Simple Curriculum-Linked Teaching - Andy Carley, SOuL
Engaging teaching outside needn’t be complicated or expensive. ‘Learning by doing’ has been the standard way of learning anything through our entire evolutionary history! Learn how to use simple resources to bring learning to life in a ‘hands on’ and practical way across many areas of the curriculum. You will come away with activity ideas, lesson plans and so much more. Delivered by SOuL
Character Education 101 - Mike Hargreaves, SOuL
How can I consciously develop moral, civic, good mannered, behaved, non-bullying, healthy, critical, successful, resilient or socially acceptable qualities in my pupils? The art and science of character education will be shared by SOuL during this eye opening and enlightening practical workshop to sharpen your skills in the personal development of your pupils in the 'Arbojo Dojo.'
Nature Inspired Early Years - Jill Wignall, The Little Oak Learning
Children have always learnt outdoors. Connecting with the rhythms of nature and bringing this into your teaching practice provides an abundance of resources, ideas and inspiration to awaken the senses of young children. Jill Wignall founder of Little Oak Learning will demonstrate the method and practice of using nature as your guide.
STEMTERPRISE - Jennie Devine & Joshua Payne, NFU
In this exciting practical session, former teachers Jennie and Josh from the NFU will be throwing elements of Ready Steady Cook, The Apprentice and Countryfile into a blender and producing some brilliant learning outcomes. Expect a session of ideas for exciting practical activities and projects and a free scheme of teaching and learning resources that will allow you to infuse your wider curriculum with engaging STEM learning opportunities that hinge on using horticulture.
KS 3 & 4 Practical Pedagogies - David Alcock, Bradford Grammar School
Senior School Geography teacher and self-confessed outdoor addict, David Alcock will share a plethora of tried and tested tips tools, concepts, ideas and activities to enable KS 3 & 4 subjects to be contextualised in an outdoor setting. This interactive and ‘hands on’ session will leave you scratching your head as to ‘why didn’t I think of this before?’
Curriculum Linked Bushcraft - Natasha Branston, Educating Kids Outdoors
Natasha is the founder of EKO Learning (Educating Kids Outdoors) and a level 3 Forest School Leader. In her energetic style, this interactive and hands on workshop, Natasha will share with you many practical, engaging and creative activities that you can take away and run with your pupils back at your school immediately.
Using natural materials, inspiration from the environment and an inspired approach, Natasha will share her years of experience and knowledge around working with children outside.
The activities will be in line with the bushcraft and Forest Schools theme and link to curriculum areas such as numeracy, literacy, science and art. Co-curriculum themes will also be prevalent and fit under one of the conference threads of 'character education' such as resilience, a 'can do' attitude and collaboration skills.
Science Is All Around - Ruth Shallcross, Primary Science Teaching Trust
Ruth is a national award winning primary science teacher and a recognised Fellow of the PSTT College. Her workshop will delve into how ‘science is all around us’ when we step out of the classroom and tap into the almost limitless resources that exist.
Ruth will give insight, strategies and tips for contextualising the National Curriculum through the use of the natural environment. Prepare to look at your outdoor spaces with new eyes and be inspired by the vast potential that exists in even the most humble of outdoor settings.