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Consultancy

 

I offer a full range of consultancy services covering the planning, implementation and evaluation of outdoor learning experiences in a range of settings.

             

Access and ecosystem assessment / design

My PhD research showed that in order to improve access to the outdoors it is necessary to build people’s capabilities to do so. This means understanding the multiple factors that influence access and establishing an ecosystem of stakeholders who are committed to overcoming the barriers that constrain access. Outdoor Learning Ecosystem (OLES) design and implementation creates an environment that can change how people see and value their relationship with the outdoors.

             

Theory of change development

A theory of change, co-created by key stakeholders, helps organisations to both plan their programmes and interventions and understand their impact.  The supported development process quickly and effectively enables you to: 

  • Help the staff team work together to achieve a shared understanding of your programmes  

  • Help identify and open up new opportunities and understanding

  • Help determine what needs to be measured (and what does not) so you can plan any evaluation activities

  • Encourage staff to engage with the existing evidence base.

  • Understand what contribution the programme makes to the broader context

  • Enables you to quickly communicate your strategy.

 

Resource mapping

 

Research shows that schools want to do more learning beyond the classroom but often feel constrained in their ability to do so, with one identified barrier being their lack of knowledge of the resources that are available to them in their local area. Teachers and youth leaders want to know what is available and how it can be used. Resource mapping assesses the opportunities that are available in the local area that could be accessed to enhance the delivery of the primary school curriculum and brings them to life in an accessible way through an interactive map. Information for each location includes how the venue can be used to support aspects of the curriculum.

 

Curriculum design, implementation and evaluation

             

Since 2009 I have been working with schools to develop their outdoor learning strategies and practice.  No two schools are the same so there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach that can simply be copied in different settings.  There are certain common factors, however, and these are outlined below:

  • Preparation and action planning with Head Teacher and relevant governors

  • Review of school vision statement and how this is reflected in the school’s development planning, website and marketing materials

  • Review of existing policies and practices pertaining to outdoor learning.

  • The creation of new policies and practices (outdoor learning policy, updated uniform policy etc.) where agreed.

  • Review and/or creation of standing risk/benefit assessments for the on-going use of your school site for outdoor learning

  • Curriculum-mapping to maximise opportunities for outdoor learning

  • Support with auditing current and potential outdoor learning practice, venues and opportunities

  • Support for the school’s outdoor learning curriculum with all stakeholders.

  • Support with applying for the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Mark

  • Evaluation and celebration of your progress and achievements.

  • CPD for staff 

 

In addition, I can provide:

 

  • Additional work, off site, to provide follow-up advice, notes of visit, recommendations, research and creation of documentation as agreed.

  • Telephone and email support between the main school contact and myself for the duration of the package.

  • Signposting to possible funding avenues to support.

  • Guidance on utilising the existing space in your school grounds to maximise outdoor learning opportunities.

  • Signposting to resources and lesson plans to support teacher CPD.

  • Site development plan for possible future development areas.

 

Organisational support and development

My experience and qualifications accrued leading and managing outdoor education centres underpins my organisational support offer:

 

  • Policy development

  • Systems and compliance

  • Staff training, monitoring and support

  • Impact assessment

  • Service review

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