Elmwood’s annual Outdoor Learning training day occurred in the beautifully picturesque setting of Blymhill and Weston Village Hall on the outskirts of Shropshire. We were extremely lucky with the weather only having to contend with the breeze (which meant the green barley shoots were dancing in the distance). A special thanks goes to Sara Morris from Barlaston WI who completed a master class on wool weaving to establish beautiful poppies (of different shapes and sizes) in preparation for the schools display for armistice, as well as up skilling all staff so they can support pupils in creating their very own poppies to take to Alrewas during the month of November 2019. Dan Whittaker, SLE for Outdoor Curriculum, delivered a workshop on paper making, including foraging for native flowers to include into the finished pieces of paper. This will enhance the curriculum development across the school. Ash Holmes, Teacher of Outdoor Learning, completed a variety of techniques of processing wood from large logs into smaller pieces and chicken sticks which will support the fire elements of the curriculum as well as creating our wood wall display. All staff demonstrated a sense of achievement when they could see how far they had processed the wood and pride when the trailer was empty. Finally Simon Wood, Teacher of English, brought an element of West Midlands history through the creation of Dutch Arrows and how these were utilised as part of integral play in generations gone by. All staff were extremely shocked at how far their creations flew through the air (some even travelled into neighbouring gardens – apologies).
These days are a great opportunity for staff to come together and participate in activities that are outside of their comfort zone – really enabling them to be empathetic with the pupils they support on a daily basis. It was also lovely that Tracy Brandwood, Chair of Governors, was able to take part in the day and share these experiences with staff.
It was also testament to the schools drive to further develop an innovative curriculum and showcase the work so far along this thread of the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF).
Photographs of the day are available on the gallery page of the website.