Forestry Commission Scotland has set out its key aims for developing learning in green spaces in its Woods for Learning Strategy for 2010 – 2013.
The main aim is to provide places in the green environment, particularly trees, woods and forest, for learning and teaching outdoors in order to:
- Help improve the life chances of young people
- Show forestry as an exemplar of sustainable development
- Show how woods and forests can contribute to combating climate change.
Working with education professionals and others, we aim to help transform the lives of young people by creating greater awareness and use of the opportunities and benefits of learning and teaching outdoors.
Woods For Learning in Central Scotland
Within Central Scotland we have been actively promoting the use of woodlands as a learning environment. This has included the promotion of both Forest School and Forest Kindergarten.
We can also support first time visits to woodlands with Community Rangers.
Other projects have included the promotion of cycling and mountain biking within school as part of the P.E. curriculum.
Joint projects with John Muir Award staff and the Woodland Trust Branching Out West Lothian project led to over 50 teachers receiving outdoor learning training in the year 09-10.
Forest School is a long-term approach to education for all. Focusing on the learning needs of the individual, and tailoring the experience to those needs, creates a rich and rewarding learning environment for the learner.
We have supported the development of Forest School in Scotland through links with the Forest Education Initiative and the Glasgow and Edinburgh Forest School Programmes.
More information on forest schools is at: http://www.foresteducation.org/forest_schools.php
Forest Kindergartens offer young children frequent, regular play opportunities in woodland and/or a natural setting, throughout the year, in almost all weathers.
Forest Education Initiative
FEI promotes forest learning through a network of local groups. These are made up of partners from local industries, forestry, schools, community groups and environmental organisations. For details of your local group please visit: www.foresteducation.org.
Woods for learning strategy
- Find out about the Forestry Commission Scotland Woods for learning strategy.
- Comprehensive information about using the outdoors for learning is on the Learning and Teaching Scotland Outdoor Learning website at: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/learningteachingandassessment/approaches/outdoorlearning/index.asp.
Websites to Explore
- There are materials for teaching and learning about woods and forests in the Treetrunk section of the FCS website.
- Nature Detectives/Club: www.naturedetectives.org.uk
- SNH Teaching practice: www.snh.org.uk/TeachingSpace
- Grounds for Learning: www.gflscotland.org.uk
- Woodland Trust Learning and Kids Pages: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/learning-kids/Pages/children.aspx
- Woodland Trust Outdoor Learning pack: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/about-us/projects/bowl/Documents/learning-pack.pdf
- Roger Greenaway’s Active Reviewing Guide: www.reviewing.co.uk
Learning outside the classroom
- Learning Outside the Classroom: www.lotc.org.uk
- Green Tree Award: www.naturedetectives.org.uk/schools/award.htm
- John Muir Award: www.jmt.org/jmaward-home.asp
Outdoor Learning Ethos
Karen Boyd, Education Officer
Central Scotland Conservancy
Hamilton Business Park
Hamilton ML3 0QA
Tel: 01698 368553
Scottish Lowlands Forest District
Five Sisters House
Five Sisters Business Park
Tel: 01555 660 190