Outdoor learning is a strong priority
with the Scottish education system, and Open Ground has been involved in moving
this field forward over the last few years. Open Ground contributes to developments in best practice, training,
research and policy. Strengthening pupils and teachers understanding and
connections to their places is the key theme of all the projects run by Open
Ground. Taking new perspectives on familiar
landscapes helps us see the richness and value of where we live.
Open Ground has worked with many schools
and organizations in Scotland, including: The GalGael Trust, the Wilderness Foundation,
Education Scotland, Crofting Connections, Scottish Natural Heritage and a
large number of primary and secondary schools.
Open Ground developed and delivered the
‘Learning Landscapes’ project with seventeen local
schools in North Argyll, Scotland.
These were term long projects which helped each school develop localized
curriculum. The projects included four to six days facilitated by Open
place-based learning inside and outside the classroom, teacher training and
building links with the community.
More recently Open Ground has developed the ‘Outdoor
Learning Film Festival’ which has run three times in various areas of northern
Scotland. This projects involves each class/school making a short film
through a combination of outdoor and classroom based learning. Each film is devised, researched,
scripted, filmed and edited by the children. The festival culminates in evening
showings of all the films at the local community cinema.
Open Ground trains teachers and
educators in the techniques of outdoor learning and place-based
education. Open Ground has run courses
independently, and for Education Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.
These workshops focus on developing teacher capacities such as confidence,
planning, and delivery, allowing the participants to shape their own lessons
and curriculum with local elements.
Open Ground also developed a post graduate course for Edinburgh University.
Educational projects with Open
involve repeat visits outdoors providing exciting and engaging experiences for
students, but also fostering teachers capacities. Projects are charged
on a daily rate.