Great Adventures? Adventure learning theory


Simon Beames, lecturer in outdoor learning at Edinburgh University, presents a framework for adventurous learning that can be used to analyse your own teaching practices.

“The trusty Oxford Concise  dictionary tells us that an adventure is an ‘unusual, exciting, or daring experience’. Scholars tell us its ‘outcomes cannot be predicted to any great degree’ (Higgins, 2001) and that it involves ‘a  degree of uncertainty’ (Mortlock, 1984). Perhaps, most importantly, an adventure is ‘a challenge that will demand the best of our capabilities — physically, mentally, emotionally’. As we dig deeper in to the meanings of adventure, we see how it is individually and culturally relative. People have their own subject views on what constitutes an adventure and what doesn’t.” 

Read Great Adventures? here

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On the Wildness of Children


There is some dawning awareness these days of the insanity of raising children almost entirely indoors…..

A thought provoking essay by Carol Black, writer, filmmaker and director of the documentary film Schooling the World.

Read On the Wildness of Children here

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School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten

No classroom for these school children: this documentary film takes us to a forest kindergarten in Switzerland where children age 4 to 7 spend every day outside in the forest.

This is a thought-provoking film about public education in early childhood.

By U.S. director Lisa Molomot and producer Rona Richter. With animations by multimedia designer Ingeborg Dena Faber.

School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten (Trailer) from Otis Films on Vimeo.

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New GCSE, AS/A level Geography Fieldwork Guide


A new GCSE, AS/A level Geography Fieldwork Guide has been published by Edexcel, produced in association with the Field Studies Council, the Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

This Geography Fieldwork Guide is designed for use by teachers of GCSE and AS/A level Geography. It provides high quality support for teachers undertaking fieldwork as well as preparation for the independent investigation.

This Guide includes Department for Education requirements and support for planning and recommendations to provide a meaningful and clearly structured approach to fieldwork.

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First Aid Friends Programme for Schools: KS1 and KS2 First Aid Friends Programme has been written and developed by Emma Gaskell & Sarah Moses of Discovery Training (Yorkshire) Ltd:

It provides a carefully planned developmental opportunity of learning through which children acquire knowledge and life skills in First Aid.

The programme is innovative, rich, interactive and exciting.

Its aim is to provide teachers and school staff with up to date knowledge, skills and confidence to plan a comprehensive and informative first aid programme for children that can be delivered flexibly in a variety of ways (including a series of short sessions, workshops and activities) and includes a mixture of theoretical and practical elements.

The programme focusses on three main elements:

  • Keeping safe (themselves and others) by identifying risks, dangers and hazards in a range of different situations
  • Developing life skills through the teaching of basic first aid
  • Building confidence, resilience and positive self esteem

The programme also equips children with the skills and strategies to live a safe life and apply their learning to real life experiences.

Staff Training
We are offering workshop style training sessions for those who will be responsible for delivering the programme to children. The training session will allow teachers, practitioners, assistants and volunteers to learn about the programme and explore the resources and activities. It will also enable them to develop their knowledge and skills in first aid and confidence to deliver first aid sessions to others.

More detailed information, including staff training sessions, available at or contact Discovery Training via e: t: 01226 730940 m: 07435964271.

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Educational Visits & Journeys Guidance Revised November 2015

vj2015cover3A revised version of the LA’s educational visits guidelines is now available entitled “Organising Visits & Journeys: Educational Visits and Outdoor Education Standards and Guidelines ”. It is dated November 2015. This replaces the previous edition dated March 2011.

Please note the following:

  • this is a revision, not a complete re-write; it contains amendments and updates only where needed;
  • hard copies are not being produced, the definitive version is available on the home page of the Evolve visits system after log in; and on the intranet via the CYPF Index page, under school visits and outdoor education;

Main changes are as follows:

  • contains amendments issued since last edition (March 2011);
  • clear reference OEAP national guidelines;
  • document divided into two main parts called Standards and Guidelines;
  • Standards section now reformatted contains key principles for ease of reference (see pp. 10-21).

Please take the following action:

  • ensure all managers, educational visits co-ordinators and staff involved in educational visits are aware of this revised guidance;
  • replace existing hard and electronic copies held locally with this revised version.
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Educational Visits Co-ordinator (EVC) Training Courses 2016

cannon-hall1.jpgThree dates are now available for this training for 2016. It is particularly suitable for Educational Visits Co-ordinators (EVCs) new to the role and others involved in the management of educational visits.

This course, developed by the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel, provides training for EVCs based on a recognised national framework.

Wednesday 16 March 2016 Venue: Barnsley Business & Innovation Centre (BBIC), Wilthorpe. Times: 9.15am – 4.00pm Cost: £95 Trainer: David Armstrong

Wednesday 15 June 2016 Venue: Barnsley Business & Innovation Centre (BBIC), Wilthorpe. Times: 9.15am – 4.00pm Cost: £95 Trainer: David Armstrong

Tuesday 11 October 2016 Venue: Barnsley Business & Innovation Centre (BBIC), Wilthorpe. Times: 9.15am – 4.00pm Cost: £95 Trainer: David Armstrong

Book a place on one of these courses and find more information here.

Should you require further information about these courses, please do not hesitate to contact e: or t: 01226 773586 m: 07824 351133.

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The Expedition – Educational Resource

the expedition
The Expedition role play activity – the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

The Expedition follows the story of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1916 led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. However, the resource does not reference names, specific locations or the year. Hence, The Expedition is in the hands of the participants and their imaginations and only once they complete the journey will they discover that they have re-enacted a true story.

The Expedition is a role play activity. Eight actors are required to play eight characters. The actors are given a short biography, followed by a numerical sequence of action cards to read in turn with the full cast until the story is complete.

More information here and the materials can be downloaded here.

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Educational Visits Co-ordinator Training Course


The next Educational Visits Co-ordinator (EVC) Training course is being held on Wednesday 17 June 2015  at BBIC Wilthorpe, Barnsley. Places still available for those who wish to attend.

All schools and children’s services settings should have an Educational Visits Co-ordinator who has undertaken this one-day training course.

Wednesday 17 June 2014 Venue: Barnsley Business & Innovation Centre (BBIC), Wilthorpe Times: 9.15am – 4.00pm Cost: £85 Trainer: David Armstrong

Book a place on this course and find more information about a range of other training events here.

Should you require further information about this course, please do not hesitate to contact me on t: 01226 773586 m: 07824 351133 e:

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First aid training to be made compulsory for new nursery recruits


Information from the DfE:

New nursery and pre-school staff will be required to undertake paediatric first aid for the first time, according to new government proposals.

The plans have received the support of parents Joanne and Dan Thompson, who have been campaigning for the change following the tragic death of their daughter, Millie, at nursery in October 2012. Their important campaign culminated in an e-petition signed by over 103,000 people.

The new proposals will mean newly qualified staff with a childcare level 2 and 3 qualification must have an emergency paediatric first aid or full paediatric first aid certificate – a life-saving change that will add approximately 15,000 additional trained early years professionals to our nurseries and pre-schools each and every year.

More information and DfE press release here.

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