I do not know where 2010 went. I have searched everywhere indoors and out yet it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. My 2009 Review made me appear so productive. Yet 2010 I feel the glory and honour belong to others.
Firstly, the photos in this post come from the nursery class where I worked one morning a week in the summer term. These children had such a positive go-for-it attitude and helped reaffirm my belief that being outside brings out the best in most children.
The year began with my being a part-time supply teacher in a school that was going through an inspection. It ended up with a very good report with outdoor learning being recognised as a strength thanks to the hard work and efforts of all the staff.
High levels of cooperative play
My other main job at the time was constructing a database of outdoor learning activity in Scotland. Almost 500 schools, individuals and organisations signed up. In a country of 5 million inhabitants, this demonstrates the high level of interest that exists.
The guttering is one of the most popular outdoor resources
In March it was back to training workshops and courses. I delivered approximately 80 sessions of varying lengths during the year. Outdoor literacy was the highest in demand closely followed by general introductions to outdoor learning.
The children got used to accessing resources outside and quickly knew where to find key items
April saw the publication of Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning
. This Scottish Government document ensures that outdoor learning is not something special or extra but must be a frequent and regular event that can take place in all subject areas throughout a child’s time in school.
April was also the month that Creative STAR Learning became a Limited Company and a social enterprise with funding from the UnLtd 4iP fund.
In June, Mindstretchers organised a conference, “A Child’s Right to be Heard“. For me this was a really exciting event and a chance to meet up with many like-minded people who are committed to getting children outside.
I love this use of guttering!
In July I met up with Sherry, one of the amazing bloggers at Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning
. After all, if she was willing to travel halfway round the world to get to Scotland, I was happy to drive a couple of hours to say “Hello”.
In October, the Growing Greener Futures Conference in NE England was an amazing event, not least because a lot of people there were following each other on Twitter. It’s quite amazing to meet people face-to-face after following them on line.
Hanging out together!
In December, one highlight was the success of pre-school bloggers in the Edublog Awards 2010
. To me, it demonstrated the power of online communities and the potential for providing support. Personally I’ve been genuinely touched by the kind words and comments of visitors to this blog and my Facebook page. One year ago, the average number of visitors to “I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here!” was 450 per month. Now it’s well over 3000! Thanks everyone.
Happy New Year and all the best for 2011.
“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.”
Henry Van Dyke