There’s concern that not enough pupils are being encouraged to experience the great outdoors.
The call comes as the North West branch of the Institute for Outdoor Learning hold their annual conference at the Ambleside campus of the University of Cumbria (Friday 20th.Jan.)
Based in the heart of the Lake District - the very area organisers say young people should visit - the day-long event aims to showcase the kind of skills that can be gained and illustrate the innovative ways they can be taught.
“We need to support more teachers, who we know are busy, to take time to get out of the classroom and give pupils the chance to see for themselves not just the countryside but to experience the range of benefits that will help back in the classroom and in later life,” according to Andy Robinson, chief executive of the Institute for Outdoor Learning, an organisation which aims to increase participation and improve the quality of outdoor learning. “From understanding environmental impact to team working; developing an active heathy lifestyle to looking after yourself and others – being outside, in the natural environment is an engaging and enjoyable way for a young person to learn the range of skills they’ll need in later life. We’re aiming to show that there is support for teachers who have been too busy to consider how to draw on outdoor learning.”
On Friday around 150 delegates from across the north west will meet to discuss the industry, share good practice and consider ways of broadening the appeal of the outdoors.
“We are delighted to be hosting the Institute for Outdoor Learning's North West Conference on our Ambleside campus,” Dr Liz Mallabon, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader, MA Outdoor and Experiential Learning for the University of Cumbria said. “This is the main event in the IOL's North West calendar and offers a mixture of workshops and networking opportunities for regionally based practitioners. An exciting addition to the conference this year is a student specific aspect; this joint collaboration between the IOL and north west universities offers undergraduate and postgraduate Outdoor Studies students the opportunity to engage in a wider learning community through attending workshops and lectures as well as presenting their dissertation ideas.”