Grounds for Learning National Networking Conference

31 March 2010 · 0 comments

in General Commentary

Grounds for Learning, the Scottish school grounds charity held their annual “NatNet” event in the middle of March. To my consternation it was booked out within a couple of weeks which meant (shock, horror, faint) that I didn’t get to go!

All has not been lost. Thanks to a film crew and YouTube, video clips of all the workshops have been created and put online in the past few days.

I have to confess that I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The clips are REALLY good. First of all check out the Early Years Risk clip. Applause for Marian Cairns who is the Early Years Quality Development Officer at North Lanarkshire Council and works tirelessly to enable more outdoor play to happen. Oh, and double the applause for the innovative project at Cumbernauld College Nursery that is the focus of the workshop. This is all about why you would give young children real hammers and saws and how the health and safety implications are managed.

Next, I want to know where is Steve? All the rest of the Grounds for Learning staff have been caught on camera. How did he avoid the spotlight? Ah well! Have a look at the literacy workshop and remember to follow up any work with runes with the trolls outdoor session.

The numeracy workshop came over smoothly. Alex Fowles is a GfL accredited trainer and facilitator and her experience of using school grounds for learning comes through.

The physics workshop looked fun! And everything seemed to work. Remember that a lot of fun can be had creating a human sized sundial in the school grounds and to take account of the clocks going back in the winter months.

And an HM Inspector of Education, Donnie MacLeod, gives his approval to outdoor learning

I learned a new word “metasaga”. It dovetails nicely with an outdoor Leonardo Da Vinci project. To find out more, watch the clip. Kate Coutts is the head teacher at Britain’s most northerly school, on Shetland:

Finally, enjoy looking at Alain Kain’s art workshop. He’s a willow worker and does all sorts of amazing school grounds projects

So I hope you also enjoyed this alternative way of attending the conference. Next year, I’m looking forward to Twitter up-dates every 5 minutes from every workshop and a fantastic Prezi from the keynote speakers. The standard of reporting has been set and it’s into cyberspace and beyond that GfL now travels.

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