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Workshops

The Muddy Puddle Teacher

Sarah Seaman

Sunday Workshop

Teacher, Author, Podcaster, Trainer and Consultant in The Muddy Puddle Teacher Approach

Sunday Workshop

The Muddy Puddle Teacher is an outdoor learning approach explicitly created for formal settings such as schools and nurseries.  The approach helps educators take their academic curriculum outside in all weathers using natural and upcycled items.  Join in with a maths, phonics, science and wellbeing class. 

 Outdoors Thinking

Dawn Ewan

Terri Harrison

 

Saturday and Sunday Workshops

Dawn Ewan

I taught in early years, ASN and primary for over 15 years before leaving to open Mucky Boots, an outdoor kindergarten which has its values rooted in attachment theory, relationships and play. I left my management role there in 2023 and continue working as the founding director of the organisation. This move has given me more time to focus on training, mentoring and consultancy work. I am now also an associate trainer for Outdoors Thinking in Scotland.

Terri Harrison

Most of my adult life I have lived and worked in Camphill Communities teaching and managing teams in nursery, school and young adult provision. My husband Daniel and I developed Nature Nurture, an intervention for children that promotes resilience through time spent in nature with attuned and nurturing adults. I have trained teams of professionals all over the UK and Australia in supporting child wellbeing through outdoor play. I currently run a Nature Nurture training course for individual teachers and local authorities as well as teaching ASN pupils and being an associate trainer for Outdoors Thinking in Scotland.

Saturday Workshop

 

Ingredients for Outdoors Thinking

In this workshop we will explore two ‘ingredients’ from the Outdoors Thinking Approach. We will engage in immersive experiences to help us understand how these ingredients support child development and wellbeing through outdoor play.  The workshop will also give an overview of the Outdoors Thinking Approach and provide details of the course that is now running in Scotland. Outdoors Thinking’s core mission is to empower and enable practitioners and teachers to make the most of being outdoors for nurturing children to thrive and grow in their educational setting. Our goal is to greatly increase the number of enthusiastic educators with a deep belief in the value of learning through real experiences and play outdoors and who share a commitment to upholding every child’s right to spend ample time outdoors every day throughout the year.

Sunday Workshop

Nature Nurture: Holistic Observation, Assessment and Evaluation Outdoors

This workshop explores a new resource for observing and tracking the development of resilience in children through outdoor playful experiences in nature.  The Nature Nurture holistic assessment provides practitioners with a framework to help them notice and evidence children’s growth across seven domains of development.  It gives helpful examples of what to look for and guidance on progression.  This assessment tool is aligned with the principles of GIRFEC and CfE.  

In this workshop we will engage with two immersive nature activities and then explore how the assessment tool can be used to record how children grow and develop through these activities.

OutLET

Jackie Simpson

Saturday and Sunday Workshops

OutLET was Jackie Simpsons vision.

She wanted to create a safe space that allowed ALL children and young people to be courageous in nature, to reconnect and fall in love with the outdoors. 

She had seen the incredible impact that natural environments had on young minds while working as a volunteer. At this point in her life, she had left the armed forces, started a family, and moved hundreds of miles within a year. 

This voluntary work not only inspired a passion for helping young people, but she experienced for herself the benefits of nature and time outside for mental health. As she continued to gain knowledge, experience and accreditation in this field, she also was able to bring into sharp focus what she wanted OutLET to achieve. 

Creating Inclusive Outdoor Experiences - Unlock the Power of Inclusive Outdoors!
Inclusion is about more than access; it’s about making everyone feel valued and engaged. Join our
workshop to learn practical strategies for creating inclusive outdoor experiences, ensuring everyone can
enjoy the benefits of nature.
We will learn to identify and remove barriers to make outdoor spaces safe and comfortable for all,
discover creative ways to adapt activities for diverse needs and abilities, and engage in discussions to
address specific challenges faced by individuals with additional support needs. Through dynamic
discussions, hands-on activities, and collaborative exercises, you will deepen your understanding and
enhance your practical skills.
Join us and help create a more inclusive outdoor environment for everyone. Together, we can make a
difference!

West Fife OWL Scotland Group

Jenny Ventham

Saturday and Sunday Workshops

 OWL Scotland is a network of teachers, rangers, freelancers, youth leaders and other professionals who work in the outdoors with groups. Our aim is to build confidence and share ideas with others so skills can be passed onto young people and more outdoor learning can be done in schools.

Is It Just Hanging Around?

 This workshop will teach you knots and hitches you need to string up a tarp, hang a hammock and for rope play. We will look at how these activities can help children with their proprioception and self-regulation.

Oak and Wildflower

Stef Stewart

Saturday and Sunday Workshops

And a Wild Tea Circle on Saturday

Stef Stewart is a foraging teacher, community herbalist and sacred circle facilitator.

A current teacher member of the Association of Foragers, Stef has received training in herbal medicine and foraging through The Herbal Academy, Plant Medicine School Scotland and Grass Roots Remedies.

Through her business Oak and Wildflower, Stef runs regular foraging walks, herbal medicine workshops and Wild Women's Circles, normally within the Dunfermline area. She's also a facilitator at festivals throughout Scotland, such as the Scottish Wild Food Festival.

Stef has worked in the voluntary sector for several years, supporting vulnerable young people and adults in the community through many of life's challenges. Through Oak and Wildflower, her mission is to help people in the community connect more deeply with nature to support and improve their physical and mental health.

 Foraging for Wild Food & Medicine

As an outdoor practitioner, you're constantly surrounded by plants, trees and fungi, much of which can be gathered and turned into medicine and food! Teaching children and young people about foraging helps them to respect and connect with the land, practice valuable observation skills and opens their eyes to a world of free food and medicine that can support their health and wellbeing throughout their lives.
Join me for an introduction to foraging where we will take a walk together while I introduce you to some beneficial plants and fungi, discuss safe and ethical foraging practices and the ways you could work with these natural allies with your students. You'll have the opportunity to try some wild food and medicine tasters and get some hands-on experience making something of your own from foraged ingredients.

Jackdaw Forest School

Zoe Sills

Saturday and Sunday Workshops

I spent 5 years as manager of two Forest School nurseries and have also co-managed a specialist Early Years provision for children with significant additional support needs. I now run Jackdaw Forest School, delivering training and facilitating outdoor play and learning for all ages and also work with Play Scotland and OPAL as a Play Mentor. I am passionate about play and learning, and volunteered at the IPA conference in Glasgow in 2023. I can frequently be found out in woodlands, occasionally roaming the Cairngorms as a volunteer reindeer herder and often by the sea as a Shorewatch volunteer. I work closely with Outdoor Woodland Learning Scotland as secretary of the Moray OWL Group and am on the board of directors for tsiMoray, VIP Childcare and the Ladybird Development Group. Prior to all of this, I spent 20 years as a PE teacher in secondary schools in both England and Scotland, and latterly was also a pastoral/guidance leader in schools. 

Nature's Classroom: Integrating playful outdoor learning with curriculum outcomes for teachers and practitioners

Linking curricular outcomes in outdoor learning is a frequent concern for teachers and early years practitioners. Together, we will explore how easy it actually can be to create these curricular connections and meet the outcomes required in a range of curricular areas. We will then look at some activities with a literacy focus for all age groups, from early years right through primary and into the lower secondary age group. You will have opportunities to explore creativity with practical activities that you can take away. You are also invited to bring along your own questions or concerns for how to meet other curricular outcomes through outdoor learning and we can work together to ensure you leave with ideas to inspire you to take your groups or classes into the outdoors whatever the area of the curriculum you are looking to meet!

Thrive Outdoors

Mairi Ferris

Henry Mathias

Saturday Workshop

Our team has immense passion and a wealth of experience spanning decades as practitioners and leaders in outdoor play and learning. We are here to support organisations to successfully navigate our sector and increase your impact - providing more children & young people with opportunities to thrive outdoors.

Mairi Ferris – . Mairi leads the Thrive Outdoor Programme having joined Inspiring Scotland in 2017 and has almost 2 decades of experience in supporting and promoting outdoor play pedagogy in nurseries, schools, childcare and play services. Mairi is a qualified ELC practitioner, has an MA in Social Policy, a professional award in Leadership & Management and gained an MSC Education on the Early Childhood Practice & Froebel pathway in 2023.

Henry Mathias – Henry joined Thrive Outdoors in June 2024 as Professional Development Manager. As a senior manager with the Care Inspectorate, he helped the regulator embrace the positives of adventurous play for children attending registered services. This included producing influential publications for the early learning and childcare sector, such as ‘My World Outdoors’ and ‘Gender Equal Play’.

Connecting children to People, Place and Planet through Outdoor Play

An exploration of how practitioners can engage children’s curiosity to connect with their local environment and community. How do we support children’s developing understandings of culture and heritage? How does supporting children to build relationships with place and planet impact on their desire to care for these spaces? How does this support children to look after the local and global environment?

Play Piece

Leanne Sweaton

Saturday Workshop

A class teacher with 24 years experience. A passion for play and using it as a context for learning across the primary school. 

Currently a Principal teacher with Fife Council supporting Fifes Play Strategy and working with our most disadvantaged learners to raise attainment. 

Embedded the use of play from p1-7 in my previous school and developed an outdoor learning program too. recently started my own online platform called Play Piece; Nurturing an Appetite for Play in Scottish Education.

Play Piece; Nurturing an Appetite for Play in Scottish Education.

With over 24 years experience in the classroom and the last 10 using Play Pedagogy as a context for learning, allow me to inspire you to use play from p1-7. Learn more about play provision across stages, the balance of the day and how to observe and assess learning through play across age groups. 

MANY MORE WORKSHOPS BEING ADDED

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