Inspirational Outdoors 2018 – a two-day conference

The conference is hosted by Niki Willows – Outdoor Play Consultant and Trainer, and Martin Besford – owner and manager of the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ outdoor nursery, Highway Farm.

Following some excellent feedback from 2017, we are pleased to bring you our 2018 conference. The most popular request from last year was for the conference to be longer. We have listened and are giving you a whole two days. We may release day tickets in the new year if we have capacity.

This conference is aimed at Primary staff (Heads, Teachers and Teaching Assistants), Early Years Practitioners, Home Educators, After School and Holiday Club Managers and their staff. We’re also more than happy for interested practitioners in other fields to attend. During the sessions we hope that you will share your knowledge with others.

Workshops will be added to this page as we book them.

The aims of the conference are:

  • To enable your staff team to collect practical, low cost or no-cost ideas which they will be able to take away and start using today
  • To enable practitioners to develop high quality outdoor learning environments which will have a positive impact on children and staff
  • To provide practical and hands-on workshops, backed up with research and evidence about the benefits of outdoor play and learning
  • This conference will cover many aspects of outdoor learning including:
    • Logistics of getting out of the classroom/setting
    • Increasing staff confidence outdoors
    • Create exciting learning opportunities outdoors
    • A wealth of practical ideas and activities linked to the curriculum
    • Professional development and upskilling
    • Evidencing outcomes within Outdoor Learning
    • Resources
    • Links, support and advice

The venue is Mount Pleasant Ecological Park which has been developed over the last 10 years as a unique community resource, all set within 42 acres of organic farmland, in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the north Cornish coast. If you are interested in buildings, the Eco-Park has the largest load-bearing rammed earth structure in the UK; a tyre amphitheatre; a walled fire circle and covered courtyard. A perfect location for this inspirational training opportunity.

Running order –

Day One

Keynote – Niki Willows – Outdoor Play Consultant ”Making The Most of Your Outdoor Space”

Niki was previously Play Development Advisor for Wiltshire Council, and has lectured on Outdoor Play for Early Years & Childcare degree courses. She also has run Forest School training. She now lives and works in Cornwall running outdoor play sessions for families, has a licence from Cornwall Council to run school Beach Teach sessions and continues to create CPD opportunities for school and nursery staff.

Quest with Phil Waters

Phil Waters was a PhD student at the European Centre Environment & Human Health analysing the use of narrative as a means to engage children playfully in the natural environment.

Throughout his career Phil has worked with thousands of children in many different contexts using play as both a vehicle for transformation, while also valuing and celebrating its intrinsic value in children’s daily life experiences. Phil has written and delivered various playwork training programmes in the UK and the USA.

Collectively all these elements conspired to make the content for Phil’s PhD; the use of narrative as a means to engage children playfully in the natural environment, with ambitions of increasing their physical activity and their ecological literacy and altruism for the natural world.

Vegetarian lunch

Workshops 1 & 2

Q & A – Close

Early evening – weather dependant, inspirational chat around the campfire in The Small Wood or on Porthtowan Beach. Skill sharing and networking opportunity.

Day Two

Keynote – Martin Besford – Owner of Highway Farm Activity Centre

Highway Farm – The Outdoor Journey. “ Passion, Possibilities and Perseverance “

Martin Besford has a background in Early years, primary education, outdoor pursuits and play work. Martin has delivered training for Cornwall County Council, Playlines, Playwork Partnerships and the University of Gloucester, leading him to develop, write and deliver training independently. Martin has more recently delivered various training abroad and has been asked to deliver a keynote speech at a conference in America next year for David Sobel.
Previously Martin has worked in various roles across play and education and in 2006 he started Highway Farm Activity Centre with just a farmer’s field offering outdoor holiday play schemes. Now it is a centre classed by Ofsted as ‘ Outstanding ‘ providing an outdoor nursery, holiday play scheme and after school club, in an exceptionally nurturing outdoor environment. Martin also offers training and consultancy to schools, nurseries and the wider education sector.

Workshops 1 & 2

Vegetarian lunch

Grand Finale

You will choose your workshops as you arrive each day. This will be on a first-come first-served basis.

Please dress for the glorious Cornish weather – this could mean sunscreen, or full waterproofs, or most likely- both! Please be prepared.

Creating outdoor spaces that connect young children with the natural world with Jan White

 ECO (Early Childhood Outdoors) Annual Gathering 2020, Sheffield.

‘Weaving the Early Childhood Outdoors meshwork through keynotes, discussions and connections

Early Childhood Outdoors (ECO) is a social enterprise seeking to increase the amount and quality of outdoor experience for young children across the UK, through collaborative and enabling work with a wide range of development, teaching, research and design organisations providing support in this field, in order to maximise impact. Founded in 2017, we aim to connect organisations and individuals, to build support capacity, and to deepen the pedagogy of being, playing and learning outdoors.

EARLY CHILDHOOD OUTDOORS
 – The National Centre for Outdoor Play, Learning and Wellbeing

 

EARLY BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE UNTIL 31.01.2020

Messy Maths with Juliet Robertson

Get real, get messy, get maths, get outside. Come and spend a wonderful day in the woods, with Juliet Robertson, the author of the multi-award winning book, Messy Maths. Together you will explore the five “R’s” of Messy Maths:

Rights – every child is mathematical and has the right to have learn about and explore maths.
Routines – embedding key maths concepts into your daily routines.
Resources – open-ended, low cost materials which can be used in lots of different ways with different ages and abilities of children.
Responsibilities of the adults – how to follow children’s lead and articulate the learning which happens through a play-based approach. It also includes ways of involving families in developing a child’s love of maths.
Re-imagining your outdoor space – developing maths-rich provision in any outdoor space be this a concrete jungle, woodland paradise or something else.

Date: 21st May 2020.
Lead Facilitator: Juliet Robertson
Location: Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BP
Cost: £120. If you are attending the Literacy Day also, the fee is £220 for the two days.
Time: 09.00 – 15.30

Lighting the Literacy Fire with Juliet Robertson

Come and spend a busy, happy day with Juliet Robertson, exploring literacy outside. Together, we:

Explore the practicalities of developing any outdoor space as a literacy-rich environment on a shoestring budget using natural materials and sustainable approaches.
Look at approaches to ensuring your children become prolific mark makers outside using a range of creative approaches and through careful attention to their physical development.
Consider the joy of facilitating many contexts for listening and talking.
Ensure that a range of texts and narratives are an everyday part of your outdoor practice.

Date: 22nd May 2020.
Lead Facilitator: Juliet Robertson
Location: Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BP
Cost: £120 or £220 if booking Messy Maths also.
Time: 09.00 – 15.30

Leader in Outdoor Learning (Level 2) training course

Learn how to link the primary curriculum with outdoor activities in your teaching and discover how to use your school grounds as a classroom and become a qualified Leader in Outdoor Learning (Level 2) accredited by the Open College Network West Midlands.

30 & 31 March 2020.

Nature Kindergarten Day at award-winning Auchlone

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten is a multi award-winning early years centre for 2-5 year olds in Perthshire where children spend over 85% of their time outdoors.

Our Nature Kindergarten Day includes a visit to Auchlone with an exploration of the ethos and methodology of Nature Pedagogy as developed by Dr Claire Warden. We’ll provide an in-depth tour of the areas of inside the setting, outside in the landscaped environment and beyond the gate into wilder spaces, explaining the thinking behind our practice. There will be ample opportunities for questions, sharing experiences and discussing specific situations. We’ll address a wide range of practical issues linked to outdoor learning.

Our Senior Trainer and/or Auchlone Manager will share their wide breadth of knowledge regarding all aspects of running a Nature Kindergarten and adjust the content of the visit according to your needs and interests.

Following the visit to Auchlone, we’ll continue your learning with a practical workshop session. We’ll address the practical considerations of delivering daily outdoor education. You’ll also get an insight into how we support inquiry-based learning with the Floorbook Approach, created by Dr Claire Warden. Finally we’ll explore how you can implement parts of the nature kindergarten ethos and the Floorbook Approach into your own practice to create authentic and rich learning experiences and to improve your practice.

Our Nature Kindergarten Day is ideal for practitioners who wish to begin intertwining nature into all forms of learning whether they are in a rural or urban setting, educators who currently work in an outdoor learning centre or anyone looking to set up an outdoor learning centre. It will support increased engagement with the natural environment and help you improve your own practice inside, outside, and beyond!

Aims:
– To explore the origins and approach of Nature Kindergartens internationally and to look at the methodology behind Nature Pedagogy as defined by Claire Warden.
– To be able to plan for a relevant nature space in consultation with children.
– To look at the layout and day-to-day operation of an outdoor learning environment.
– To explore how the Nature Kindergarten methodology can be implemented in any kind of setting or practice.

Outcomes. You’ll be able to:
– Implement aspects of Nature Kindergarten practice to your setting.
– Record and evidence children’s learning using the Floorbook Approach.
– Create natural spaces inside and out and establish rich learning environments that stimulate and engage children.
– Design or source natural resources with children to use across the curriculum.

Testimonials:

“I was really looking forward to visiting Auchlone, I’d heard so much about it and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll be putting what I’ve learnt into practice as soon as I can.” Nursery Practitioner

“Amazing, a total eye-opener! I can’t wait to start introducing learning with nature to our children.” Nursery Manager

“Inspiring, encouraging, exciting and invigorating. Kate and Mona were wonderful hosts and their enthusiasm for Nature Pedagogy is infectious.” Primary School Teacher

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten Visits

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten is an award-winning early years centre for 2-5 year olds in Perthshire where children spend over 85% of their time outdoors.

Your visit to Auchlone will involve an exploration of the ethos and methodology of Nature Pedagogy as developed by Dr Claire Warden. We will provide an in-depth tour of the areas of inside, outside, and beyond, explaining the thinking behind our practice. There will be ample opportunities for questions, sharing experiences and discussing specific situations. We’ll address a wide range of practical issues linked to outdoor learning.

Our Senior Trainer and/or Auchlone Manager will share their wide breadth of knowledge regarding all aspects of running a Nature Kindergarten and adjust the content of the visit according to your needs and interests.

This visit is ideal for people looking to set up an outdoor learning centre or those who currently work in one as well as educators who wish to begin intertwining nature into all forms of learning whether they are in a rural or urban setting. It will support increased engagement with the natural environment and help you improve your own practice inside, outside, and beyond!

Aims:
– To explore the origins and approach of Nature Kindergartens internationally and to look at the methodology behind Nature Pedagogy as defined by Dr Claire Warden.
– To be able to plan for a relevant nature space in consultation with children.
– To look at the layout and day-to-day operation of an outdoor learning environment.
– To explore how the Nature Kindergarten methodology can be implemented in any kind of setting or practice.

Outcomes. You will be able to:
– Implement aspects of Nature Kindergarten practice within your setting.
– Create natural spaces inside and out and establish rich learning environments that stimulate and engage children.
– Design or source natural resources with children to use across the curriculum.

Testimonials:

“I was really looking forward to visiting Auchlone, I’d heard so much about it and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll be putting what I’ve learnt into practice as soon as I can.” Nursery Practitioner

“Amazing, a total eye-opener! I can’t wait to start introducing learning with nature to our children.” Nursery Manager

“Inspiring, encouraging, exciting and invigorating. Kate and Mona were wonderful hosts and their enthusiasm for nature pedagogy is infectious.” Primary School Teacher