January, traditionally a long and painful month. The nights might be getting lighter, but it feels like it is deepest darkest winter. A time to hibernate and recover from a busy festive period. But here at Love Outdoor Learning this January has been about growth and business development, setting the seeds for what shall hopefully be a very exciting year!
It started with us taking on not one but two new members of staff. Kimberley and Kaseyrose are the newest members of the team. Kimberley is a very experienced teacher and is a great asset to us. Kaseyrose has volunteered with various children’s clubs but this is her first job. It is a privilege to introduce such a smart and determined young lady to the workplace. She has been fantastic in our sessions so far and long may it continue!
Next up was us launching a new group, our family session. Each month shall have a different theme. This month was wildlife in winter, February shall be mythical and mysterious. This is a fun session for kids aged 2 and over. Of course, we still have our usual Fledgling’s Story sessions and STEM sessions. February sees us launching new parks, which we are very excited about!
I have found being a business owner is very different from being a primary school teacher and I appreciate I still have a lot to learn. I approach this 2 ways, firstly by attending some great networking events. There is always someone interesting there that I can learn from. However, I have also started the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Pre-Accelerator Programme. This is all about teaching entrepreneurs the business skills they require. It is an intensive 8 week programme and I am now 2 weeks into it. I am learning so much and it is helping the business so much!
One of the early lessons was on growth mindset. I taught this, I thought I knew it. However, on reflection my mindset was holding us back somewhat. Therefore, we have now started our schools programme! After teaching for 10 years I understand how outdoor learning should be a part of every teacher’s toolkit, and not an add on to a packed curriculum. It is an essential tool and can make a huge impact on all children’s learning. We have begun providing CPD to schools and outdoor sessions for children within schools.
We have also started looking at the options for purchasing our own land for our outdoor groups. This would allow us to have a firepit, vegetable patches, offer groups every day of the week and even have an after-school club! It is hugely exciting so watch this space to see how we progress with this.
We have no doubt that 2019 is going to be a very exciting year. We really hope you will continue to join us on our amazing journey!