Finally, amid the madness of Brexit and chaos in our Government, a breath of fresh air.
You may have seen the news that the Department for Education is to publish a “bucket list” of life goals that school children will be encouraged to achieve each year before they leave Primary school. They’ll include our favourite subject – outdoor pursuits - such as climbing trees, sleeping under a canvas and exploring a cave.
Full details have yet to be published by the DfE but an interview in the i newspaper with Education Secretary Damian Hinds made front page headlines, aptly while I was at the annual Council for Learning Outside the Classroom conference at the fascinating Black Country Living Museum. The news was welcomed by teachers and providers who know (more than any government minister) the impact that school trips and learning outside the classroom can have on the next generation.
In a marked departure from Mr Hinds’ predecessor Michael Gove, the minister believes character building and resilience are among his priorities and are just as important as exam results – hallelujah!
As one teacher pointed out though: “It’s obvious that children should be getting out of school more and outdoors.” That’s right, it’s obvious to us and yes it’s a reflection of the times that there has to be a government ‘policy’ in order to focus outdoor pursuits in schools. But without it, it can still be seen as a ‘luxury’ or an ‘add-on’ to the National Curriculum, rather than integral to all childrens’ learning.
So we wait with bated breath to see if the minister follows through on his promise to encourage “getting out and about”. In the meantime, we’ll continue celebrating and sharing all the brilliant trips you’re planning and delivering.
Until next time, happy exploring!