A resource pack, inspired by Julia Donaldson’s books and Tam Dean Burn’s Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge helps teachers lead outdoor learning activities
The Children’s Wood launches an innovative outdoor learning pack on April 23rd, to meet the requirements of local council and national outdoor education policies.
This resource pack aims to make outdoor learning more accessible for teachers and schools. The pack links different outdoor activities to Curriculum for Excellence outcomes and is free for schools to download. Each activity is based on a Julia Donaldson book.
This outdoor learning pack is part of the Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge cycle trip that Tam Dean Burn undertook last year, following the Queen’s Baton Relay and throughout the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where Tam read nearly all of Julia Donaldson’s books to children across Scotland.
The learning resource was created by the Children’s Wood Outdoor Education Committee, which includes a number of local teachers.
Julia Donaldson says “I hope teachers and children will be inspired by the Children’s Wood and their educational resources to take time out of the school room and get back to nature. I really believe that children can thrive through learning and playing in an outdoor environment where they and their imaginations can run wild”
Tam Dean Burn says
“I was delighted to be asked a few years ago to read some of Julia Donaldson’s wonderful stories in The Children’s Wood and then to subsequently watch as the meadow area blossomed as a thriving, much-loved community resource. Little did I think it would lead to my family travelling all over Scotland following the Queen’s Baton Relay and across Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games reading all of Julia’s books and singing her songs to thousands of children along the way. This Education Pack is a fitting legacy to that momentous time and will strengthen the roots of the flourishing Children’s Wood and its important work within the local area and beyond”
Susie Marshall speaking on behalf of the Children’s Wood education committee said
“Through this pack we hope to inspire and support teachers in using stories and the outdoors for children to experience the curriculum in an innovative way.”
The Children’s Wood and Meadow is a three-acre site in Glasgow’s Maryhill, an urban area of deep inequalities. The Children’s Wood project is a grassroots community initiative that uses the site to get children and families outside into nature, connecting with their local community, to improve learning, health and well-being.
Volunteers engage with 14 local schools and thousands of local people, meeting the City’s outdoor learning agenda for free, by running events and making educational resources.
The group continues to contribute educational values
Emily Cutts, chair of the Children’s Wood comments
“We hope this pack will not only get our community outside more, but help to inspire schools and teachers in other areas of the country to use their local greenspace for outdoor learning and fun. These resources are not specific to this site but can be used anywhere”
“We know that when people have a greenspace within 5 minutes walking distance they are more likely to use it – compared to when it’s 10 minutes away.”
The Children’s Wood group hopes that the pack will increase the chances of classes taking learning outdoors and to see that all aspects of the curriculum can be taught outdoors.
The group has recently received news that developers have resubmitted a planning application to build 90 high-end flats on the land, placing the charity’s work at risk.
Stephen Greenland Secretary for the Children’s Wood says:
“It is testament to the group’s dedication that it is still able to deliver these resources in line with the curriculum for excellence despite the continued threat of council action to sell this invaluable greenspace which will devastate this positive community initiative.”
The benefit of this pack for teachers and schools
Easy to use
Handy tick sheet with Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes
Activities for nursery and primary aged children
Increase of confidence in schools and children to get outside
Links school and the community greenspace, preparation can be done in the school before hand to extend the learning.
Meet local and government targets for learning and teaching