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Outdoor Education

Simon Gillman:

I can provide support for

  • Bushcraft and nature activities within the Home Environment main lessons in the lower classes.
  •  Extending the practical content of main lesson blocks in class 3
  • Supporting Botany and Local Geography  main lessons in classes 4 and 5
  • Developing a gardening programme for middle school with links to many main lesson blocks in classes 6-8.
  •   Upper School work experience projects, suitable for class 9 or 10.


As a society we are faced with the multiple global challenges posed by climate change, an unprecedented crisis in the natural world. At the same time, there is also growing recognition that nature contact is essential for wellbeing and healthy development of children, both physically and psychologically. Taking children outdoors uses real-life contexts for teaching  that can have a profound impact on the quality of learning, their personal growth and their response to major questions.

Like geography, gardening is an integrative activity that spans an impressive range of subject areas, linking them to personal experience. From soils and composts, applied ecology and natural history amongst the sciences, to geography and local history, to artistic design with plants, to cooking, food science and nutrition; and even including meditation/mindfulness, writing poetry and painting!

Lessons in the garden can offer open space for dialogue about many of the challenges humanity is facing but within the reassuring timeless processes of growing, nurturing, harvesting and consuming. The competences gained with working with a wide variety of tools enhances learning and supports other practical aspects of the curriculum.

Woodland work offers contrasting contexts and skills to gardening but shares its emphasis on timelessness and wellbeing. Looking after the forest can link to earlier bushcraft experiences and the creation of a greenwood whittling programme as a lower school forerunner of woodwork.

Simon Gillman may be able to help with the difficult tasks of identifying, planning and delivering a practical curriculum, even with limited space available, using aspects of the Permaculture design process.

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