‘Out to Play’ with Eco Drama

LfS wordcloud

During a number of recent events and presentations about learning for sustainability, I have displayed the above word cloud with the question “Where do we start?”. Different practitioners offer different responses. My response is to assure everyone that where you start is far less important than actually getting started and making the connections between the many exciting areas of this agenda.

Making connections is exactly what Ben Mali MacFadyen from Eco Drama has been doing throughout the Out to Play project. Working with children and teachers across Glasgow, Out to Play seeks to facilitate interaction with the natural world through quality artistic experiences, re-thinking traditional views of nature as merely ‘sites’ and ‘reserves’, noticing and appreciating nature on our doorstep. Eco-Drama

Sessions have been tailored to the unique surroundings of each school, and through imaginative play & adventurous learning, Out to Play aims to deepen young people’s connection to our natural world.

Ben’s blog  offers a detailed and reflective account of the process thus far, providing some wonderful insights into the children’s learning. He has also shared a number of very practical ideas and approaches for engaging pupils in the outdoors.

For further information on Education Scotland support for outdoor learning, click here.

Kenyan Connections Conference: Inverness, Monday 8th June

Kenyan Connections is a partnership between Crofting Connections and NECOFA Kenya School Gardens Initiative which works with rural schools and communities in the Eastern Rift Valley of Kenya.

Four Crofting Connections schools have been awarded funding through the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme to host exchange teacher visits with Kenyan schools, using food growing in the school gardens as a starting point for learning about local food production and for delivering learning for sustainability.

This conference is part of a visit to Scotland by Kenyan teachers to the participating Crofting Connections schools. It provides  a valuable CLPL opportunity for teachers, as the Scottish and Kenyan partner schools share their learning with other schools.

Speakers include Dr Margaret Bennett, writer, folklorist, singer and broadcaster; Dr Rehema White, lecturer in Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews; Samuel Muhunyu, director of NECOFA Kenya, and Catriona Willis, Global Learning coordinator at Highland One World.

For further information and to book a place at this event, click here.

 

 

Learning for sustainability: outdoor learning showcase

Page 14 - Activity 2Dreghorn Primary School in North Ayshire will host an LfS-focussed outdoor learning showcase on Thursday 28th May from 4pm to 6pm. The event is aimed at practitioners and leaders across North, East and South Ayrshire and is bookable via the North Ayshire CPD service.

Presentations from practitioners, learners and Education Scotland staff will be followed by a “market place” event where delegates can discuss outdoor learning approaches with a range of key partners. Grounds for Learning, the Soil Association, the Royal Highland Education Trust, the John Muir Trust, Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Adventure Centre for Education will be joined by the North Ayrshire Ranger service.

These providers will be on hand to offer advice and support on delivering outdoor learning as a regular, progressive curriculum-led experience for all learners.

For further information, contact Julia Kerr at Dreghorn Primary School.

 

 

 

John Muir Graphic Novel – Teaching Resources Available

JMAWill your school be celebrating John Muir Day on the 20th April? Looking for resources to explore the life of the “Father of our National Parks”? A graphic novel based upon the life of John Muir and produced by the Scottish Book Trust is available to download. Teaching support notes and pupil activities across all curricular areas also accompany the book. Muir’s story is brought to life in a new way, and the novel is intended to develop a deeper understanding and awareness of the natural environment and the importance of protecting wild places.

For further information on the John Muir Award click here.

‘Our Environment’ competition deadline extended.

The ‘OuStirling HS John Muir Award Group Survey image 1 (2)r Environment Competition’ is a great way of engaging young people with their local environment and conservation issues.

Children identify and collect information about an issue in their local environment, collate the information and propose a solution.

Submit your entry as a presentation, poster, leaflet, video or photo storyboard – or maybe you can think of another creative way.

Have you already been working on an environmental project? You can use what you have found out and produced for this competition!

The winning entry will get £1000!

Find out more here.

http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/get-involved/the-big-discussion/

After much interest the closing date has been extended to Friday April 10th.

Developing your outdoor learning space

cowgate under 5sIt can be challenging to find fresh and interesting approaches to learning when consumed by the daily business of education. Even when there is time to find alternative approaches, having the support and space to implement it thoughtfully in your context can also be tricky.

The national recommendations on learning for sustainability (LfS) and the GTCS professional standards set out clear expectations of practitioners demonstrating LfS in their practice. The recommendations also make clear that learners should have an opportunity for contact with nature in their grounds on a daily basis and throughout the seasons through provision of green space for outdoor learning and play (Recommendation 4.1).

A new case study from the Children and Families team at Education Scotland offers an inspiring insight into how one early years establishment has developed a high-quality outdoor learning environment. The video and reflective questions that accompany it provide an excellent stiumulus for professional dialogue. This dialogue and the activites and action points that stem from it are exactly the kind of meaningful examples of CLPL referred to in the LfS report. Through engaging in a thougtful, reflective and focussed professional discussion of exisiting innovative practice, we can move another step closer to ensuring that learning for sustainability is “experienced in a transformative way by every learner in Scotland”.