Quote of the year

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!’

Dartmoor for city children

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’

Looking backwards and forwards

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.

‘Adventure Walks’ booking now for the Autumn term

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.

Busy end to week

Looking forward to running my ‘Playground Maths’ course at Sticklepath Primary School,  Barnstaple on Wednesday – my thanks to Sam Warner (co-head) and Matt Pennington for facilitating this.

On Thursday my freelance work takes me to Pixies Holt for a bit of caving – assisting not leading!

Friday it is the Y6 from Berry Pomeroy Primary School for a 4 hour+ ‘Adventure Walk’ in the Haytor area. Not only will we be learning about the wildlife and history but also playing on the rocks and in a stream. They are bringing swimming things so they can get as wet as they like!

‘Playground Maths’ feedback

I really enjoyed working with the group who came to Cornwood after school yesterday  for my ‘Playground Maths’ course and the feedback was very encouraging. Many thanks to Simon Hall (Executive Head and his staff for use of their facilities and equipment) Here are just a few quotes from the feedback forms.

‘Great ideas generated for Key stage 1 and 2’ – ‘Inspirational thank you’ Marie from Woodfield Primary

‘All were activities that are easily managed, resourced and replicated’ Neal from Manor Primary, Ivybridge

‘Lots of good ideas prompted by David and others on the course’ Mike from Hooe Primary

‘Great ideas for using equipment that is around the school’ Trish from Salisbury Road

‘Really useful session – lots of ideas to take back to staff’ Sarah from St Pauls, Plymouth

Okehampton Plus

The weather was perfect yesterday for a walk (run and play) from Belstone, up to Belstone Tors and back along the Taw Valley. This International group were great fun to be with and included children and young people from Lithuania, Spain, Italy and Okehampton along with accompanying staff. The feedback was great and the children’s command of English impressive!

‘Playground Maths’ at Cornwood Primary School

I am looking forward to running my ‘Playground Maths’ course at Cornwood Primary School on Thursday 28th March 2019. It’s a twilight course costing only £20 pp. Further details can be had by emailing outsideandbeyond1@gmail.com. (Closing date Thursday 21st March) Please state if you came across this via this website.

Many thanks,

David

A poem from my ‘Playground Literacy’ workshop

This poem was created by ‘Playground Literacy’ workshop members at the SOLID conference at Buckfast Abbey. It emerged from a group exercise using prepositions – apologies that I am unable to name-check the authors.

Under the Ancient Abbey

Under the ancient abbey lies an unopened tomb of a lost queen.

Through time she had travelled, through stars and galaxies.

Towards the moon she flew, her skin sparkled and her dark locks flowed like a comet.

Until her invisible earthly bonds drew her back to the ancient abbey.

Inside the abbey that she has guarded since her untimely death.

Over her tomb you should never tread, if you do you’ll end up dead!

Sustainability and Outdoor Learning in Devon (SOLID!) conference

The name might not survive for long but the conference at Buckfast on Friday was thoroughly enjoyable. It was a great chance to meet teachers interested in developing outdoor learning in their schools.

As there was a literacy theme I ran a ‘Playground Literacy’ workshop which, starting from children’s motivation to play gave different ideas to play with words and sentences. These were often nonsense (which children love) or almost poetic! (there is a fine line.)

The highlight was the session on ‘The Lost Words’ when the artist talked to us and we worked in groups as she created beautiful pictures in front of us.

Already looking forward to next year.