The residential centres are hoping and planning for an Easter opening. Not only has it been incredibly difficult for these businesses but a whole cohort of children and young people have missed out on a range of potentially life-changing experiences.
Maybe the new normal won’t be quite the same but I sincerely hope that the many schools who truly value outdoor learning will be able to start taking advantage of some of the many opportunities available. I would be happy to advise schools who would like to review their provision. More on this in a later post.
I’ve started taking bookings for the Autumn Term, which is great and understand that circumstances might change and therefore COVID related cancellations will not be an issue. Please feel free to get in touch any time you are interested in making a booking for the new term.
Today I am sending out a first batch of emails inviting schools to consider one of my Outdoor Maths Courses. There has been much talk by the government of teaching outside so this would seem a good moment to remind people of what I have to offer. To begin with I am highlighting ‘Playground Maths’ a workshop for all class teachers a good way of introducing ideas and new ways of thinking about the subject. The ‘Inspiring Maths Outside the Classroom Course’ is aimed at curriculum leaders, senior leaders and others (often from across keen to promote outdoor learning. It is a longer course (half a day or two twilight sessions) and gives more time to reflect on how the expansion of outdoor learning can be promoted and managed in school. Finally I can run a tailor made course for the school. This includes a brief pre-visit to look across the school grounds at the possibilities or to focus on a particular area that the school would like to use more.
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Well that looks like it for the Summer term at least, both for my own bookings and any prospect of freelance work with the ‘Dartmoor Centres’. The right decisions in the light of the pandemic but particularly sad for those for whom a residential ithe moor is a once in a lifetime experience and for those city children that I work with who are very unlikely to otherwise experience Dartmoor or Coast Path. I will be in touch with schools a few days into the summer term to confirm cancellations and encourage re-booking. Fortunately unlike some of the freelancers I work with, while significant, this is not my only source of income. They, I hope, will at least be able to benefit from the government scheme especially as the coming few months are where many earn most of their annual income to help take them through the winter.
Pleased to already have around twenty bookings for the Spring and Summer Terms almost half of them on the coast this year. Several schools that I have worked with for a while are asking to be taken somewhere they haven’t experienced with me before.
I have several walks that offer a great day out, with plenty of opportunities to play and explore, and often including rock pooling and learning that vital skill – stone skimming!
My Instagram account is now up and running – outside.and.beyond is where you will find photos and comment relating to dartmoor and my work with children. N.B. I won’t be posting photographs of meals or family holidays!
An eleven year old girl from Bideford during a wet and windy Dartmoor day, exploring prehistoric remains, tramping through forest, splashing in puddles and scrambling over rocks.
‘I haven’t had this much fun in ages and I’ve been to Crealy!’
My ‘Adventure Walks’ with children from Wynstream in Exeter and Victoria Road in Plymouth always remind me just how much I enjoy working with children who have had little opportunity to enjoy the ‘Great Outdoors’. I am currently contacting more city schools in the hope that such experiences might be considered as part of their developing ‘Creative Curriculum’
It has been a while since I posted on this site. I am pleased to have had a really busy Summer and early Autumn with a number of ‘Adventure Walks’ both on the coast and on Dartmoor. These were supplemented by freelance work with the Devon Centres at Pixies Holt and the Dartmoor Training Centre. The weather hasn’t always been kind but drawing on my experience and knowledge of the moor, I have been able to offer ‘Adventure Walks’ which are not too affected by the wind and rain!
The feedback has been excellent with alot of happy muddy children greeting their parents with big smiles on their faces. I have one walk in November and am already taking Spring and Summer bookings for 2020.
I still have a small number of Summer term dates available but bookings for Autumn Term ‘Adventure Walks’ are starting to come in. Adventure walks are always popular with both children and staff. I charge £150 for the day and that includes a pre-visit to meet children and staff for single bookings or walks booked at the same time. As a qualified teacher (former head) I am experienced at working with children from all age groups and with schools from both city and countryside.