Core Creative Education CIC

Explore – Create – Learn – Grow

Benefits of Outdoor Education

Building a damWEB         Climbing the large crack willowsWEB

“Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.” – David Polis

‘Experiential outdoor education is an educational approach to outdoor play and learning.’ The philosophy, similar to that of Forest Schools, is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age and ability to learn through positive outdoor experiences.

Participants engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities in an outdoor environment. It supports each participant to have the opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation, sound physical, emotional and social skills and develop creative thinking. The programmes are aimed at developing and reaching personal potential.

Feeding lambs Spring 2014WEBLearning in an active manner helps individuals to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others increasing confidence and self esteem, through a wide range of activities which include:

  • Working with natural objects
  • Learning about fire; fire building skills
  • Outdoor cooking
  • Learning about making objects from wood with tools
  • Exploring the natural environment
  • Working with and from the animals that live here: chickens, ducks, sheep and pigs.

Our programme incorporates cross-curricular areas of learning, for example, to focus on developing interest and learning in science, history, geography, environmental issues, art, literacy etc.

Experiential Outdoor Learning

Our philosophy of learning at Core is that we all learn best when we are actively involved in the process of discovery. For the most part this involves a hands-on, practical element that teaches the whole body. For this reason as much as is practical our learning takes place outside without the constraints of the physical boundaries of a classroom. By learning through doing the learner has the opportunity to fully understand the processes from start to finish, appreciating the physical skills as well as the theoretical knowledge needed to achieve a goal.

Teaching is listening, learning is talking. This wonderful rule of thumb, from the educator and writer, Deborah Meier, reminds us that real learning comes, in large part, from being actively involved in the educational moment.


Outcomes for Young People

What outcomes will the young people achieve from attending Outdoor Education sessions?

  • A greater understanding of the close relationship between the seasons and traditional rural life.
  • An appreciation of the importance of working with nature to raise healthy animals and produce nutritious food in a compassionate and sustainable manner.
  • Through learning a range of  craft activities the children will learn to value the skills of a craftsman and the patience needed to create a useful object, the history and significance to the rural way of life of crafts and how the crafts fit into the yearly cycle of a small farm.
  • The outdoor activities help individuals to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others increasing confidence and self-esteem, through the whole range of activities.
  • All the activities are designed to engage and motivate and to be achievable tasks.   We will support each child to have the opportunity to develop their interests and skills, develop physical, emotional and social skills and develop creative thinking. Our programs are aimed at developing and reaching personal potential.
  • An increased sense of personal wellbeing derived from direct contact with the natural world.
  • Increased fitness and associated health benefits as a result of working outside.

 Themes and activities that feed into our Outdoor Education sessions:

Winter months– Tree/woods care (planting trees, pollarding, coppicing, laying hedges, developing varied and rich ecosystems, green woodworking with traditional tools). Infrastructural improvement/repair (fencing, building gates, restoring paths). Animal care (folding sheep, dusting chickens, repairing animal shelters). Preparing for spring (mulching growing areas, cleaning greenhouses/polytunnels). Harvesting/preparing/storing willow and hedgerow weaving materials.

Spring months– Trees and plants (Identification and survey of wild flowers and trees on the farm). Propagating seeds/ spring planting. Weaving with willow, hedgerow basket making and using winter coppiced material to make sheep hurdles. Animal care (incubating/hatching chicks, feeding orphan lambs, hatching tadpoles). River dipping.

Summer months– Cutting/storing hay for winter feed. Harvesting and cooking with fresh produce from the polytunnel/greenhouse/garden. Shearing the sheep, processing the fleece (carding, spinning, dying, felting). Identification and importance of insects including looking after the bee hive.  Animal tracking – identifying animal tracks, especially hedgehogs.

Autumn months– Apple harvest and pressing juice. Harvesting and processing vegetables (pickles, jams, chutneys, drying). Foraging for wild food. Mushroom identification. Digging, processing and using clay (making wattle and daub walls, making pots and firing ceramics).

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