The Outdoors Group Podcast
The Outdoors Group Podcast is a call to arms to get children and young people outside again. Each episode, we’ll be talking to a different guest about different aspects of the outdoors covering a wide spectrum of topics from forest school provision to the importance of play, from making outdoor education and integral part of learning, to creating accessible outdoor spaces, from nurturing the next generation or environmental warriors to encouraging risk taking.
You can find us on all major podcast platforms and we would love it if you would give us a listen!
In this episode, we were delighted to be joined by Maria and Harry from Right to Roam, an organisation campaigning for a Right to Roam Act in England “so that millions more people can have easy access to open space, and the physical, mental and spiritual health benefits that it brings.” We discussed the history of the right to roam; how the Land Reform Act in Scotland is working out, why land access is so important, the legalities of trespass, and how we can get involved in the movement. It was a really interesting and thought provoking conversation and we hope that it inspires you to explore the land on your doorstep a little more! You can find out more at www.righttoroam.org.uk or on instagram at @right.2roam
In this episode, we were delighted to talk to Lars Atkins, who has recently completed a fairly phenomenal ascent of one of the Alp’s most treacherous mountains, the Matterhorn. We discussed what keeps him returning to the mountains, how to persevere in the face of adversity, and the amazing charities that he was fundraising for. Whether you’re a keen climber or outdoorsy person or just an armchair adventurer, this was an interesting and enjoyable conversation that we’re sure many of you will enjoy listening to! If you would like to help Lars get to his goal of raising £7,000 you can do so over at www.gofundme.com/f/Climbing-the-Matterhorn-for-MacMillan. He was raising money for MacMillan and RNRMC and was supported in his training by www.eliteoutdoorfitness.com and you can find him on instagram at @thelarsypan.
In this episode we were delighted to be joined by Craig Vincent, the Head of Teaching and Learning at The Outdoors School. He took an hour out of his jam packed schedule to talk to us about the innovative curriculum that we use at the school. We explored what constructivism actually means, trauma-led learning, our unique three-stage curriculum, and the importance of setting learners up for a life of loving learning. It was an insightful and informative discussion and we hope you enjoy listening! For more information about our school, head over to www.theoutdoorsschool.co.uk
As we approach a decade of delivering Forest School Leader Training, we thought we’d sit down with our Lead Trainer, Neil Martin, to discuss the course. We chatted about exactly what it involves, why people choose to do this training, and his experience of working with hundreds of people over the years to get them started on their Forest School Leader journey. As always when talking to Neil, we had great fun and hope that you enjoy listening as much as we did being in the woods recording this! If you’d like to find out more about the training we run, head over to www.outdoorsgroup.co.uk/training and maybe we’ll see you in the woods before too long!
In this episode, we were delighted to be joined by Andy Dunstan and Dawn Williamson from the Wheeled Access Group in Devon. WAG work with the Moorland Guides group to develop routes on Dartmoor that are accessible to people using mobility scooters and also lead guided walks on these routes. We chatted about how the group formed, and their experience of discovering and guiding accessible routes over the years. You can find out more about the Dartmoor Walking Festival and where to find them over at https://moorlandguides.co.uk/dwf/!
In this episode, we were delighted to be joined by Claire and Kate, two home educating parents who have 30 years and 6 kids worth of experience between them! They joined us to chat about why parents may choose to home educate, how it works in practice, and the challenges and highlights that their home education journeys have presented so far. We talked about some of the most commonly asked questions such as how do you make sure your kids socialise, what do you do about exams, and how do you know what to teach! This is a really interesting and potentially useful conversation for anyone wanting to know more about home education, particularly those considering it for their own children.
In this episode, we were delighted to talk to Dr Naomi Fisher, an independent clinical psychologist and EMDR consultant. Naomi specialises in trauma, autism, and alternative approaches to education. We had a fantastic conversation discussing everything from the psychology of learning to the importance of play, from what motivates young people to learn to the value of video games. This is a must listen for parents and educators alike, we hope you enjoy listening as much as we did having the conversation. Naomi’s new book ‘A different way to learn’ is out later this year so do check that out once it’s released.
In this, the first episode of our third series, we were delighted to be joined by Sam Kendall, Head of School Learning at the Eden Project. Sam chatted to us about the mission of the Eden Project, the educational work they do, their story based approach to education, and the what and why of their new programme for Early Careers Teachers. It was a fascinating and engaging conversation to have and we hope you enjoy listening to it just as much as we did!
I was delighted to be joined once again by our well-being officers, Rowan Pring and Pete Shepherd, for a conversation that left me feeling encouraged and sustained for the dark wet evening I went out into. The overarching theme of our discussion was self care and being kind to yourselves as we navigate a time of year which many people find challenging. They offered some practical tips and advice at how to protect your mental health as well as plenty of reassurance about feeling a bit slower at this time of year. A gorgeously gentle and warm listen that we’re going to recommend to everyone this month!
In this episode, I was joined by Tash Furmidge and Tim Dexter from Asthma and Lung UK to talk about air pollution, it’s links to climate change and their Clean Air Champions scheme. We discussed what air pollution is, the dangers it causes, and what can be done to lessen the impact of it. For anyone interested in finding out more about anything we spoke about, please head over to their website at www.asthmaandlung.org.uk
It was a pleasure to be back in the cabin at Exmouth again to join Head of Forest Schools at The Outdoors Group and master crafter, Nick Murphy, to talk all things spoons. He told us about how he came to carving spoons, his relationship with crafting and his mental health, the concept of slojd and how the spooning community influenced all of this. It was a warm, insightful and cheering chat and I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did recording it. You can check out Nick’s spoons on instagram at @murphys_spoon.
In this episode, I sat down with two members of staff from The Outdoors School to discuss the why, what and how of project based learning. We discussed what it can look like in practice, talked about real life projects they’ve recently facilitated and shared some top tips for those listening. We also touched on the concept of self directed learning and the importance of nurturing life long learners with a thirst for acquiring new knowledge and skills. This is a fantastic episode for anyone working in education, whether you’re a teacher, home educating parent or working in education within another capacity.
In this episode, I was joined by Molly Mary Simmons, a Cornish based forest school leader and the woman behind Where Wildlings Flow. We discussed her journey to Forest School, how she found her Forest School Training course, how she’s using those skills now and her love of archery and wolves! Full of whimsy and joy, this is an uplifting and inspiring episode, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
In this episode, I was delighted to be joined by the man, the legend, that is Neil Martin. Neil is our lead trainer at The Outdoors Group and storyteller extraordinaire. Neil has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to storytelling and he was good enough to share some of it with me as we discussed the relevance storytelling still has, how to reach children and adults of all ages and explored some tips for those wanting to give it a go themselves.
In this episode, I was joined by the Headteacher of the Avanti Hall School in Exeter, Phil Arnold, for a conversation about the place of outdoor education and Forest School within mainstream schools in the UK. We discussed what outdoor education means to different people, the challenges teachers can face in facilitating it, the benefits it can have to students of all ages and it’s place in a post-covid world.
In this episode I was delighted to be joined by Michael James, author of Forest School and Autism, and Andy Smith, founder of Spectrum Gaming. We discussed the benefits of Forest School for neurodiverse children and young people, the similarities between good Forest School practise and good autism practice, the biggest myths about autism that they wanted to dispel and why the outdoors is so important to them.
In this episode, I’m joined by the headteacher of The Outdoors School, Robyn Vincent to talk about taking a different approach than the mainstream narrative when it comes to both education and parenting. We discussed what authenticity means in this context, how to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in and follow your own path and the importance of leading by example for both adults and children around you. A fantastic listen for both anyone working in education and for parents, grandparents and carers.
In this episode, I talk to Pete Shepherd and Rowan Pring about the therapeutic benefits of spending time outside. Both Pete and Rowan are trained counsellors with a wealth of experience and a passion for the outdoors. We discuss, among other things, the benefits of taking therapy outside for both adults and children, how to access these benefits in an urban environment, and in a non-therapeutic context, how being outside can positively impact our stress levels, mental health and well-being.
In this episode, I’m joined by one of our company directors Tom Lowday, to talk all things play related! We discuss what real, spontaneous play looks like, the benefits of it for children and young people, how it can be used as an educational tool and how it can equip children with the building blocks they need to develop key social and emotional ‘soft’ skills. We focus particularly on play in an outdoor setting and look at how the natural world can provide a rich, inspiring backdrop for children’s play.
In this inaugural episode of The Outdoors Group podcast, I’m joined by one of the company directors, Shevek Pring to talk about his experience of outdoor education and its place within the national school system. We delve briefly into a history of education and discuss what education needs to look like in order to facilitate learners with the skills they need to be happy, successful and productive members of society in years to come.
Want To Be A Guest?
We’re all about community and connection here at TOG. Our ears are always listening and our doors are always open. If there is something you’re passionate about and you’d like to give it a platform, or think you could add your voice to our conversation and would like to appear as a guest on the podcast, we’d love to hear from you!
Simply drop our host Hannah, an email on [email protected] with your idea and she’ll be in touch.