Why Eco Hubs are the future?
SOUL Blog
by andycarley
1w ago
  Eco Hubs are the future of outdoor learning spaces in schools. There, we said it! And here’s why. In the last year or two SOuL has installed several Eco Hubs of various sizes and styles in schools, and they make so much sense. Not only does an Eco Hub act as a base for outdoor learning, it teaches pupils important lessons about sustainability and environmental stewardship.    So, what is an Eco Hub?  An Eco Hub is an area dedicated to teaching, learning and connecting to nature with an emphasis on sustainability.  Our Eco Hubs are designed to provide areas within sch ..read more
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Outdoor learning belongs on the curriculum
SOUL Blog
by andycarley
3M ago
Simply put, outdoor learning belongs on the curriculum. It must be both embedded in all subjects, at all levels, and be implemented as its own stand-alone subject. This may sound like a daunting task to some, but we assure you that it is very much achievable. It is not nearly as tough or time consuming as it sounds to get started. And, most importantly, it’s worth it.   Schools are uniquely positioned to get young people outdoors on a regular basis. Now, we at SOuL (and many of you reading this), want to see outdoor learning weaved into the National Curriculum. And, while we continue to a ..read more
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Spotlight on Outdoor Learning – Outdoor Practitioner
SOUL Blog
by Mike Hargreaves
4M ago
Enjoy this interview with Gemma Hill-Davis, a free-roaming Outdoor Practitioner based in Cheshire in North West England. Gemma runs a small outdoor learning company called Camp Curiosity CIC and has just celebrated 6 months since launching the company and being self employed. These answers are full of insights into starting an outdoor learning or Forest School programme in school, as well as some great reasons for why you should.   Tell us about your professional outdoor learning journey In the very early days of Secondary Drama teaching I used to take my classes outside as much as I ..read more
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Finish the summer outdoors
SOUL Blog
by Mike Hargreaves
6M ago
Most of us are already more than halfway through the summer holidays. For some folks they have probably flown by and for others they may be dragging. Schools in Scotland might even be back in session by now. Either way, most families are looking for new, yet inexpensive things to do together over the final few weeks of summer. Finish the summer outdoors and set the right tone for the next school year.    As you probably already know, it’s important for children to spend time outside and in nature during the holidays. To those families who have already been running around outside – th ..read more
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Outdoor Learning Ethos Won Over Ofsted
SOUL Blog
by Mike Hargreaves
6M ago
John Newton was the head of Barrow C of E Primary School from 2013-2021. In this time John steered the school away from closure to Ofsted Outstanding rating. He credits the school’s success to adopting an outdoor learning ethos to contextualise the curriculum and pin learning to experiences in the real world. This outdoor learning ethos won over Ofsted and established the school as being back on track.  Back in 2012 the numbers on roll had dwindled down to the mid-twenties and existing staff were deflated. Earmarked for closure, a mass exodus was underway. In July of that year the school ..read more
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Outdoor Learning in Summer
SOUL Blog
by Mike Hargreaves
7M ago
We spend a lot of time thinking about how to manage outdoor teaching in the colder months, but what about outdoor learning in summer time? On one hand, it is more appealing to be outdoors in the warmer weather. On the other hand, on an especially hot day it isn’t easy to maintain pupils’ focus and motivation. In addition, children can easily overheat or become dehydrated in summer and so there are different things to watch out for than in winter.    Stay Healthy All the basics that apply for any hot day at school still apply for outdoor learning: Hydration – make sure water is avail ..read more
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How to Maximise Your School Grounds For Outdoor Learning
SOUL Blog
by Mike Hargreaves
9M ago
We are incredibly proud to support schools on their journey of taking their teaching and learning outdoors. We are seeing a massive surge of enthusiasm for this type of pedagogy and for very good reason. Let’s look at how to maximise your school grounds for outdoor learning.   It’s based on evidence A growing body of evidence is illustrating the many benefits for pupils (and staff) of spending time learning outdoors. From engaging learners, improving behaviour, raising attainment, supporting health and wellbeing, reducing stress and making learning more enjoyable. Look up the Natura ..read more
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Spotlight on Outdoor Learning – Class Teacher
SOUL Blog
by Mike Hargreaves
10M ago
Let’s talk to Paul Oldham, a long time proponent of outdoor learning as both a class teacher and deputy head. We wanted to find out more about setting up a new outdoor learning program and how to build it. Paul has a lot of great ideas and enthusiasm for getting children outside that we can all take inspiration from!   Tell us about your own professional journey in the outdoor learning world? Before I was a teacher I always had a love for the outdoors. I discovered mountain climbing at university and learned that being outside made me feel good. However, when I started teaching I wasn’t f ..read more
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Spotlight on Outdoor Learning – Director of SOuL
SOUL Blog
by Mike Hargreaves
11M ago
It’s time to talk with one of our very own, Andy Carley, the Director of School Outdoor Learning. Firstly to learn about his own journey and secondly to pick his brain about the state of outdoor learning. In particular, we want to delve deeper into the provision for secondary school pupils who need outdoor learning as much as their younger counterparts, but don’t always have the time or space to access it.    Tell us about your own professional journey in the outdoor learning world? I started out pursuing outdoor education after college and worked as an activity instructor at ad ..read more
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How to Develop Character in Your Pupils
SOUL Blog
by Mike Hargreaves
1y ago
Character education is crucial, and often missing from the curriculum, in our schools. It’s not a new concept, organisations like the Duke Of Edinburgh Award have been pushing the agenda for a while, but it’s certainly not regular headline news. So, what is character? We know that certain experiences are character building but why? We know that the character of our pupils has a massive impact on their outcomes in life. Yet, how can we as teachers work with them and help them to grow and flourish? It seems that as important as character-based qualities such as resilience, determination, creativ ..read more
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