CLOtC conference

The 2016 Council for Learning Outside the Classroom conference takes place on 24th November 2016 at The Learning Hub at Birmingham Airport, and its speakers have now been announced.

Each will reflect on topics relevant to learning outside the classroom and will share their experiences of implementing high quality LOtC.

A workshop programme, consisting of both practical activities to develop teachers’ skills outside the classroom and strategic lessons looking at key research taking place in the sector, will also form part of the day.

So, in preparation here’s a closer look at what to expect from the speakers this November. 

Penny Hay

Penny Hay is a part-time senior lecturer in Arts Education at Bath Spa University and director of research for 5x5x5=creativity, an arts research charity which supports children in their exploration and expression of ideas, helping them to develop creative skills for life.

Hay will share her experiences and work at 5x5x5=creativity at the conference and will highlight how arts and creative activities outside the classroom empower students to take the lead in their learning, explore the world around them and discover the joys of proactive learning. 

For example, the charity’s project School Without Walls, which initially involved students from St Andrew’s Primary School in Bath taking up residency in the Egg Theatre in the city and turning the theatre into their classroom for seven weeks, encourages teachers to take learning outside of the school grounds and use cultural centres and public spaces to promote creative learning.

Hay has also worked as a Primary teacher and has worked extensively in arts education across the country.

She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has been awarded for her contribution to arts education by Action for Children’s Arts.

Louise Edwards

Louise Edwards is director of the Pilot Partnership, a network of schools in east Birmingham which has developed a shared, progressive residential programme through the Learning Away project.

The Pilot Partnership aims to ‘reinstate enjoyment in the curriculum’ and bases its residentials on curriculum themes which feature a range of creative activities, some teacher-led and some facilitated by external experts.

The residentials are said to support the partnership’s work in tackling prejudice and there has been a determined effort to include children who would not normally take part in such activities, sometimes for cultural reasons.

At the conference Edwards will talk about the experience of developing the residentials and will explain how the partnership planned for long term sustainability in the residential programme, as well as how to keep costs low and integrate residentials within the curriculum.

Edwards will be joined by a member of staff from Brownmead School in Birmingham who will also share their experiences.

Focus on Nature

Representatives from A Focus on Nature, a network of young conservationists, will also be presenting at the conference.

The conservationists aim to inform wider nature conservation debates by offering a young and fresh perspective on environmental issues and promote nature conservation and natural history to young people.

In July 2016 it published a Vision for Nature report, which set out its aims for the future of the natural environment. Amongst its recommendations was that 20 per cent of the Primary curriculum should take place in the outdoors.

Teachers can click here to book or visit for more information.