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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

Wild Tribe Outdoor Learning Conference

Our colleagues from Arena held their Wild Tribe Outdoor Learning Conference on Wednesday 31st March.  Michelle Roberts, Arena Director, tells us more.

Over 50 teachers recently attended our Wild Tribe Outdoor Learning training conference at Sterts Outdoor Theatre near Liskeard.  The theatre is an outdoor test centre for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), so we were fortunate to be able to use a Covid friendly site for our training conference.

Image of conference attendee learning to whittleThe conference was opened by keynote speaker Richard Irvine, the 'King of Whittling' from North Devon.  Richard has recently published Wild Days, a new book full of outdoor activities for children, and he is also author of the popular book Forest Craft.  Richard talked to the  teachers present about the key ingredients of experiential education; his keynote was both inspiring and informative.  Richard also led a workshop for teachers on the use of effective knife skills for whittling and crafts, which can be linked to the National Curriculum. 

There were a number of other workshops for attendees to choose from throughout the day.  Debbie Lambert, one of the authors of the series of National Curriculum Outdoors books, delivered a workshop on Art and RE atImage of National Curriculum Outdoors books Key Stage 2, and showed teachers how they can deliver progressive lessons through these curriculum subjects.  In addition, also linked to the National Curriculum Outdoors books, I delivered a workshop on the foundation subjects, including teaching geographical skills through maps and history through the use of great explorers.

Smelting and knot making were also popular workshops, with teachers learning how to use a variety of knots in the 'Get Knotted!' workshop, with Kayleigh Halifax upskilling them in how to use these effectively with Image of jewellery created using smelting techniquechildren.  In the smelting workshop, led by Duncan Newman, teachers were taught the technique of smelting using pewter to make some great Cornish jewellery pieces.  Belinda Midwinter delivered a Wild Tribe first aid workshop, ensuring that teachers know how to teach an important life skill in the outdoors.

Wild Tribe achievement awardsThe Wild Tribe achievement award was also launched at the conference by Jenny Nash, with teachers gaining an insight into the new award and how they can encourage more children to get outdoors, and to recognise their achievements in the outdoors.

Feedback from the conference has been positive, with many teachers reporting they have learnt new skills and have been inspired with new ideas to take back to their schools. 

Click here to see more photos from the conference

For more information on the Wild Tribe programme, please visit the Arena website.