Outdoor Learning and Sustainability Conference 2019

Improving Outcomes in Literacy and Language: EYFS to Year 6 held on the 8th March 2019

Download the conference flier
Download the conference programme

School children running through a field

We are delighted that the inspiration for this years conference was the magnificent and celebrated ‘spell book’ The Lost Words written by Robert MacFarlane and beautifully illustrated by Jackie Morris. Both Jackie and Eva John, the author of the Explorer’s Guide to the Lost Words, organised running workshops for teachers and practitioners.

From the beginning of 2019 a Crowdfunder campaign was in operation to raise sufficient funds to enable every school in Devon to receive its very own copy of The Lost Words. The conference therefore provided a great opportunity for teachers and practitioners to fully explore the scope and potential of The Lost Words as a superb learning and teaching resource before their school received its copy. The Lost Words is based on words known to be vanishing from the language of children such as acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble and conker. Robert Macfarlane’s beautifully crafted ‘spells’ and Jackie Morris’ sumptuous illustrations combine in this book to conjure up the natural world. Joyous, vital reconnection with nature is just one of many possible outcomes for those engaging with The Lost Words; improved literacy and wellbeing are others. Care for the natural world is surely engendered.

This annual conference was organised by the Sustainable Outdoor Learning In Devon (SOLID) Working Group in collaboration with Natural Devon. It provides educators in all schools and settings and at all stages of learning with an invaluable opportunity to:

  • Understand how outdoor learning across the curriculum can improve the engagement, achievement and well-being of children and young people as well as enabling them to feel more hopeful about the future.
  • Appreciate the motivational power of learning about and for the environment through sustainability.
  • Clarify how to embed outdoor learning and sustainability strategically across their school or setting and assess its impact on children and young people.
  • Leave with inspiration, resources and support to be a more effective educator in outdoor learning and sustainability.

Children smiling by an insect hotel they made