Tag Archives: learning about Scotland

Inspiring Landscapes Inspiring Learning

Over 20 teachers spent a packed weekend in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park learning about and sharing different approaches to taking learning outdoors.

The teachers from all sectors came from the councils which are funding partners of the Outdoor Learning with the National Parks project, and considered progression through outdoor learning in a variety of workshops including literacy and building a sense of place, numeracy outdoors, emerging technologies and geocaching activities, the John Muir Award and more. Some of the best learning evolved through sharing the wide range of experiences brought by the teachers and workshop providers, and all left inspired to develop new and build on existing opportunities in their schools and local areas.

On their arrival the teachers were first learning from groups of S5 and S6 pupils from ten different schools who had spent the week at the residential centre focusing on leadership, personal development and environmental stewardship through undertaking a John Muir Award and a range of adventure and environmental activities. The groups’ presentations were varied, entertaining, enlightening and challenging, setting the scene well for the teachers’ weekend.

Look out for the film clips from each of the sessions, which will soon be shared on the Education Scotland OL website, with further links and support to provide all teachers with ideas and guidance for developing their own outdoor learning.

Fruitful Schools at SLF

An orchard was ‘planted’ in the Developing Global Citizens’ corner of the Exhibition Hall at the Scottish Learning Festival last week when John Hancox and friends from Fruitful Schools helped delegates to ‘pick’, peel and crush their own apples to make the most delicious apple juice. John also talked with delegates about planting fruit trees and bushes, looking after orchards, learning about Scotland’s fruit growing regions and traditions and fruit growing/cooking as a fabulous context for interdisciplinary outdoor learning:

‘Fruitful Schools makes it brilliantly easy and fun for pupils, teachers, parents and friends to plant fruit trees and get growing. We provide fruit trees, planting information, inspiration and support which makes this great idea come alive. Our aim is that all our children should get the chance to enjoy picking and eating fruit from the tree. Growing fruit is a real pleasure and its also a life skill. Children need to know where their food comes from. It comes from fruit trees in abundance!’

Many thanks to John and his team for providing a truly delicious experience at SLF for all the delegates!

Find out more about the work of Fruitful Schools by visiting their website: http://www.fruitfulschools.com. There is also a glow site from the collected work of the School Orchards Project facilitated by Grounds for Learning, which can be visited here (Glow login required). October 4th is Apple Day this year and there will be many local and regional events in celebration of our rich heritage and associations with this humble fruit!  Both sites have lots of ideas and resources for celebrating and capturing the best of Autumn on this festival day in your school or community group.

John and his team are passionate about planting 2014 heritage fruit trees in Scotland in celebration of Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Orchard helps people plant the finest Scottish fruit trees and to grow, pick and use delicious Scottish apples, pears and plums. Please get involved: we need schools, teachers, volunteers, businesses, funders, landowners, artists, planters, pruners, jam makers and fruit pickers and just about everyone else. The idea is creating a fruitful Scotland where everyone enjoys planting, picking and eating fruit.

There is a competition presently being run to ‘win an orchard for your community’ – more details here.