Tag Archives: training

Festival of Outdoor Learning

FESTIVAL OF

OUTDOOR LEARNING

Hollowford Centre, Castleton,

Hope Valley, Derbyshire

 22nd and 23rd February 2014

 

stories from found, scavenged and rather unexpected objects

I’ve been doing workshops at these gatherings for a few years now and they are always lively, cheerful events. Excellent opportuntieis for meeting people, catching up on old friends, making new ones, exploring ideas and having good-natured arguments with people

 

I am only there on the Saturday  doing workshops:

  • the Value of Tiny Things
  • Finding Stories

(details below)

 

tiny crows too small for easy photographs!

Other excitements from a very busy programme include:

  • working with special needs students
  • circular map making
  • Biomimicry: learning from nature’s genius
  • trainer in a rucksack
  • …and lots more!

 

The conference often sells out (and at only £75 for the weekend, it’s a bargain – the fee includes 4 workshops,a cocommodation and food) and workshop spaces need booking.

 

Follow the Lindley Trust link to find out more – and come and join us!

 

Tiny pirates meet a Tiny mermaid

 

Finding stories

A lively session spinning new stories, wild tales and improbable characters out of found materials. Working indoors and out, we’ll look at techniques to use with groups to build stories to tell, practical hints and useful themes for ourselves as leaders and additional activities to give ourselves the confidence to weave new stories on the spot.

 

The Value Of Tiny Things

Two main themes coincide in this workshop: the sheer excitement a lot of children (and older people!) find in working on a small scale and the practical limits on what equipment we can carry with us. So, with a guide to “make nothing bigger than your own hand”, we’ll set off to explore some Tiny Worlds with pirates and goblins, castles, treasure maps, tiny books terrible, tiny monsters. There may be even a fleet of very small ships on a very small pond

 

a tiny lantern-reef grows along a tree-root

From sea eagles to young children: training courses this autumn

TRAINING WORKSHOPS, AUTUMN 2013

Time for glue, imaginations, inspirations and wild and rewarding days! Flex those elbows, wiggle those fingers and give your inspiration a boost!

capturing landscapes

September Saturday 28th: Celebrating Wildlife I am running workshops at this exciting event in Portree on Skye organised by the Skye and Lochalsh Environment Forum.. I’ll be running one session on building new environmental stories and another that i suspect will end up with either lots of dramatic sea-eagle, otter and wild cat masks or beautiful, elegant landscape sculptures in card…or both

Official blurb:   “Join SLEF and a wide range of other organisations to celebrate the biodiversity of Skye & Lochalsh. Based in  Portree High School, activities will include wild stories, art, photography competition, lots of free stuff, advice about wildlife recording and how to get involved, music, drama….. Also a chance to discuss the future of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan document – due to be revised during winter 2013/14.” Visit the SLEF website for more information: http://www.slef.org.uk/events/28-sep-2013-celebrating-wildlife.asp

October15, 16, 17th 3 Nights of Lanterns: willow, tissue and glue! Three workshops to learn willow making techniques- in return we hope you can spare some time to help families make their own lanterns at our public workshops in November   Its not necessary to attend all the workshops but beneficial if you can

Tuesday 15th October 7pm til 9pm Willow lanterns & fixings: starting with the quick ones – a chance to meet materials and get a feel for how willow works and just what you can do with some wet tissue paper and glue!

hard at work: covering

Wednesday 16th October 7pm til 9pm More complex willow lanterns & Starting large sculptures: getting more adventurous: with me, you can try your hand at willow fish, processional people or whatever takes your fancy: looking at the basic principles involved in making more complex shapes that can still be carried. While I’m doing that the wonderful Mark Hornsey from the Babbling Vagabonds will be starting work on some static lantern installations and looking at some much bigger things

Thursday 17th October 6pm until 9pm Large willow sculptures: Mark is leading this session when the ideas from Wednesday really come to life!

Please book – limited places- invite anyone you know who may be interested e mail buxtonsparkles@gmail.com for more details   Materials and tools will be provided. Dress for mess!

November 2 training courses down in Devon. These days are designed to give participants that opportunity to try activities but also to pause and think, to plan and to share ideas, experiences and issues with each other. Rich, rewarding days in a wonderful setting – come and join us!

  Monday 4th Celebrations!

9.30 – 4.30

Dartington Estate

£115/£95/£70

Organised by Wildwise: contact them for more information or to make a booking

“we live in a world worth celebrating” – and this workshop will help you do just that. From first inspirations and wild ideas through planning the event to activities to excite and engage people, Celebrations will help you organise your own occasions of wonder and delight. With lanterns, flags, processional masks and tiny installations, there will be activities to try and materials to improvise with Who the course is for: Teachers, youth and play workers, environment and community workers and anyone who is hoping to get people out and doing something adventurous and creative in their local area

What will you take away:

  • ways of getting people started; how to spark first ideas and encourage imagination
  • a plan for designing celebrations with groups
  • checklists for yourself – points to cover
  • ways of using the immediate environment to offer stories and settings for celebrations
  • discussions about traditional celebrations and new ideas – principles and goals to look for in a celebration
  • the experience of trying activities for yourself: processional flags, tiny installations, lanterns, masks, puppets – small and very large

 

small boats offer tiny adventures for young children

Tuesday 5th

Adventures with younger children!

9.30 – 4.30

Dartington Estate

£115/£95/£70

organised by Wildwise: contact them for more information and to make bookings

 

Build your own toolkit of activities and themes to use with younger children. Looking at a world full of stories, we can use the world around us to inspire language, encourage communication and foster a deep sense of excitement in and connection with that world – and discover the best pizza for a troll, who hides on the other side of the tree and how to call a dragon from a flowerbed. Using readily transferable techniques and easily sourced materials, this workshop will encourage us to value and cherish the creativity of younger children

 

Who the course is for:
Early Years teachers, Forest School practitioners, family centre and playgroup leaders, environmental education and countryside staff

What will you take away:

  • ways of building storylines with young children that help us shape their experience and learning
  • activities to encourage creative exploration
  • event ideas for family groups
  • direct experience of a range of activity ideas for outside storybuilding to rainy day alternatives, mixing discovery with story, drama, art and craft ideas
  • the value of tiny things and the power of giants

 

Building networks: Burrenbeo, 2013

The official details of this year’s Burrenbeo conference are pasted in below. I was at last year’s event and it was rich and delightful. Good company, a wonderful setting and lots of thought-provoking sessions. so if you fancy a trip out to the west of ireland and the spectacular limestone landscapes of the Burren in July…sign up!

Place-based Learning – building a network?

Kinvara July 18th-20th 2013.

Building on the success of the inaugural Learning Landscape Symposium Apathy to Empathyreconnecting people with place in 2012, the Burrenbeo Trust are hosting an intimate networking event this year for place-based educators, teachers, parents and anyone with an interest in place-based learning and/or learning in the Burren.

 

This event aims to:

 

  • provide a unique opportunity to network with other place-based educators from Ireland and beyond, exchange ideas and experiences
  • hear from some leading practitioners both nationally and internationally
  • continue the momentum from our biannual symposium in 2012 and build towards our planned 2014 event
  • explore Ireland ’s ultimate learning landscape, the Burren.

 

 

 

This event will feature interactive workshops in community venues in Kinvara village as well as field trips to the Burren, cultural events and much more.   It will start on the evening on the 18th, the workshops will be throughout the 19th, and there is an optional fieldtrip on the 20th.  

 

 

 

Workshop leaders include:

Anita Goodwin tbc (http://www.outdoornation.org.uk/)

 

Gordon MacLellan (http://creepingtoad.blogspot.ie/)

 

Sam Moore (http://www.totemdevelopment.co.uk/)

 

Chris Chapman (http://www.changeexploratory.com/)

 

Michael Ryan (http://www.lit.ie/)

 

Gordon D’Arcy

 

Katy Egan

 

Sophie Nicol

 

Zena Hoctor

 

Shane Casey

 

….more workshop leaders to be confirmed shortly.

 

 

 

Cost: €70 (€60 for OAP/Students, €55 for Burrenbeo Trust members).

 

Bookings are now open by contacting trust@burrenbeo.com and 091 638096 or downloading the attach form and sending it back.  Places are strictly limited and bookings will be on a first come first served basis.

 

The full programme will be released shortly; keep an eye on www.burrenbeo.com for more information.

 

The Burren, Ireland ’s Learning Landscape – An Bhoireann, Tírdhreach Saíochta na hÉireann

 

 

Supported by the Heritage Council

 

 

 

 

Learning Outside The Classroom – new courses!

NEW LOTC COURSES 2012
Afternoon workshops

“Learning Outside The Classroom” courses with the Peak District National Park

 

NATURAL CELEBRATIONS

9th January 2012 , Flash School near Buxton

waving giant at the Just-so Festival, 2011

How do we get our classes to take hold of their own inspirations and work together to create exciting and dramatic events? What activities can capture the colours and patterns of nature for our celebrations?

 

This workshop will offer:

• activities to help groups plan and design celebrations

• a look at creative themes you might use in a celebration

• give you a chance to try some useful  art activities with lanterns, flags, big masks, spectacular standards and unbelievable hats…

• take time for us all to share ideas and experiences

All courses run from 1:30 – 5:30pm and cost £70. If your school books more than one of any of our charged for courses you will receive a 20% discount on all courses.

 

Newham, London: processing through the local park

For more details, please contact:

Sarah Wilks, Tel: 01433 620373     learning.discovery@peakdistrict.gov.uk

 

MATHS NATURALLY

21st March 2012, at Losehill Hall Youth Hostel, Castleton,

Based around a maths treasure hunt, come and discover how learning in the fresh air can help develop an enthusiasm for maths, as well as deepen mathematical understanding and thinking.

shapes, patterns, sizes and silhouettes - an old oak has so much to offer!

This workshop will offer:

• activities to develop mathematical skills in real life contexts

• working with maps and coordinates to engage pupils and encourage them to lead their own learning

• developing maths through story and drama activities

• activities that use a kinaesthetic approach to teaching maths OR enjoying maths through hands-on, engaging making and doing

 

 

All courses run from 1:30 – 5:30pm and cost £70. If your school books more than one of any of our charged for courses you will receive a 20% discount on all courses.

 

For more details, please contact:

Sarah Wilks, Tel: 01433 620373     learning.discovery@peakdistrict.gov.uk

and pirates offer coordinates, geometries, distances, depths and arguments over the fair sharing of treasures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVENTURES EVERYWHERE

22nd March 2012 Moorland Discovery Centre, National Trust Longshaw Estate, Hathersage

small hands create precise stories with natural objects...

Step out of the classroom and into a world where everything around us is having adventures. The processes and patterns of nature, the lives of animals and plants, all offer rich inspirations for new poems and wild stories

Looking for Adventures Everywhere, during the afternoon we will:

• shape communal poems out of special moments and memories

• work outside building our own storywalk: with activities that could work either joined together to create a whole experience or that might stand alone as individual exercises: atmosphere poems, riddles, animal diaries and wildlife characters

• make laced-up books drawing all these earlier activities together

• end with a quick story-telling session, sharing our new poems and stories

 

All courses run from 1:30 – 5:30pm and cost £70. If your school books more than one of any of our charged for courses you will receive a 20% discount on all courses.

 

For more details, please contact:

Sarah Wilks, Tel: 01433 620373     learning.discovery@peakdistrict.gov.uk

Workshop leader:Gordon MacLellan: as Creeping Toad, Gordon has been leading celebrations with schools and community groups for more than 20 years. From playschemes with hundreds of children to quiet garden events, Gordon’s experience reaches from South African arts festivals to Manchester schools, from Highland woods to Buxton’s lantern processions.

 

Training courses coming up….

I am even more elusive than usual just now for people looking for workshops for adults or professional training sessions. (You can always set up your own training course and book me for that!). Most of the following events are still being finalised so come back to this page to find out more or drop me an email and I can let you know details as they confirm

 

Workshops in the diary just now for the next few months include:

 

            Lights, Words and Inspiring Places, 4 – 6 November, near Dunkeld, Perthshire. Drawing ideas out of the November weather and from mountains, moors, stream, wood and stone to give us words, to shape poems, spin stories, making quick puppets and holding the essence of autumn in tiny  lanterns, printed tissue and leaf-lightcages.

For the SpeyGrian Trust (www.speygrian.org.uk), booking and costs through: gilbertmoulin@btinternet.com

 

            Wild Words: planned for early December, a one day workshop down in the West Country: playing with words, making stories, building books. Details to be confirmed – contact Gordon for more information

 

            Institute for Outdoor Learning, March 2012, Hollowford Centre: probable workshops on this exciting event

 

Southend Educational Trust, Essex, (tentative) April 2012, a day working  with school grounds and finding ways of inspiring literacy through playgrounds, playing fields, flowerbeds and vegetable plots. Details to be confirmed

 

a fish-lantern for a SpeyGrian weekend?

 

more adventures!

a story expedition, ready to set off!

ADVENTURES EVERYWHERE – with Gordon MacLellan

finding stories in the environment

Sunday 24th July 2011

Hollowford Centre, Castleton   10am – 3pm

A day to play with words, this workshop will help us find “adventures everywhere”… anywhere. It will offer activities designed to draw inspiration from simple observation, fostering confidence in participants’ own skills and encouraging improvisation within supportive activity structures. The activities used will also allow ideas to merge as a number of short activities flow together to give longer more intricate adventures

We will play with words, using language as another tool

to explore, enjoy and celebrate our environment.

We will use spoken, shouted, whispered, sung or written words and will explore exciting ways of holding onto written words in bog books, wild scrolls, mapsticks, water pictures and tales hidden in treasure chests

The activities used here have been tried and tested with family groups, on adult events and with school children – often in situations where Literacy is an issue and activities are needed that remove worry and fear and encourage simple enjoyment of words

 

Programme will include first words: setting out on an adventure

adventures everywhere: activities for a story-building walk: short activities with minimal equipment for use outside

holding onto adventures: ways of recording our words

bigger stories: working in groups to make quick, longer pieces

Activities:

o developing story characters

o deriving adventures from found objects or

artefacts

o making your own books

o the value of treasure

o story bundles

 

Price: £30 + vat (£36 inc vat)

Places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis

Payment in advance will secure your place on the programme

 

To book or for further information please contact Hollowford at

enquiries@hollowford.org

Tel. 01433 620377

Bring: lunch, outdoor clothes, a sense of fun

Materials: provided

Finding Hollowford

Directions can be found on their website: www.hollowford.org

making stories, building books

 

Training days in 2018

card mask in progress: a giant, a tree, a world, a hope...
card mask in progress: a giant, a tree, a world, a hope…

Two training courses are growing on the Toad horizon just now

Courses like this are aimed at teachers, rangers, environmental education specialists and playworkers and, really, anyone who is looking for activities to deliver to a group of children (or families) along creative environmental themes

Workshops aim to offer participants the chance to experiment, to experience activities for themselves and to talk about resources, workshop patterns and the tricks that make for effective delivery

If you want to find out more about the content of a workshop, you are welcome to contact me, (creepingtoad@btinternet.com) if you want to book or make a booking enquiry, please contact the organisers

a story builds....
a story builds….

Stories Everywhere
4th July 2018, Dartington Estate, Totnes
Organiser: Wildwise: http://wildwise.co.uk/training+.php?nID=18&n_start=0

This workshop will include activities that can be used to help groups of all ages use language to explore, enjoy and celebrate their environment.   We will play with words: creating stories, poems, instant adventures and terrible tales.

A day to enjoy words, this workshop encourages participants to find “adventures everywhere”… anywhere. It will offer activities designed to draw inspiration from simple observation, fostering confidence in participants own skills and encouraging innovation within supportive activity structures. The activities used will also allow ideas to merge as a number of short activities flow together to give longer more intricate adventures

The activities used here have been tried and tested with family groups, on adult events and with school children – often in situations where Literacy is an issue and activities are needed that remove worry and fear and encourage simple enjoyment of words

Rates:
£80 | £95 | £120 *
* rates for individuals / voluntary-charitable organisations / businesses

ClayfacePuppets, masks and monsters
July 2018, Dartington Estate, Totnes
Organiser: Wildwise: http://wildwise.co.uk/training+.php?nID=18&n_start=0

a day finding characters, making characters, turning ourselves into wild and wonderful things: a mixture of working with found and natural materials with alternatives using more traditional materials.

Our activities today will start with some first principles in puppetry, those little tricks that can turn just about anything into a character to send off adventuring, before moving on to improvising with piles of twigs, leaves and mud. As the workshop progresses we will add more intricate ideas, looking at shadow puppet landscapes and movements, at mask forms that lend themselves to a whole ecology of characters and  wonderfully strange creatures who can wake up a wall of rocks laughing

The programme will include
first puppets: ideas for instant animation
improvising with natural materials: add string and a lump of clay and we’re off!
straightforward activities to incorporate into other sessions needing few materials
essential shapes and techniques to apply in other situations
more intricate forms of masks, puppets and shadow puppets for more determined workshops or public events
building giants: processes for making both big puppets and mosntrous masks

Rates:
£80 | £95 | £120 *
* rates for individuals / voluntary-charitable organisations / businesses

Story character detail

Autumn adventures

public events, October 2016

Events where you can find me over  October

Families: unless otherwise stated, these events are aimed at family groups – stray adults are welcome to come and join us, too: to listen laugh and make things as suits.

Appropriate ages: If you are 7 years old or less, can you please bring a grown-up with you and don’t lose them during the session.

Stern word: I try to keep things as relaxed and cheerful as possible during sessions but I do reserve the right to ask people to leave if their behaviour disrupts the rest of the group and I generally recommend getting to a drop-in event at least 40 minutes before the scheduled end of the event as I often have to pack up and move somewhere else quite quickly!

Last minute bookings: I still have odd days here and there (some are very strange!) if you would like a session for your site or your own group. Contact me at creepingtoad@btinternet.com or 07791 096857 to find out more

October

Storytelling, tallLight up the woods

Saturday 15th

Plas Power Woods, Wrexham

Mixing lanterns, with woodland storytelling, campfire warmth and the thrill of wandering through a wood at night. You will find me deep in the woods, on a log by a stream telling stories of enchanted owls, tree-magic and occasional bears. This event is becoming a hugely popular annual event. Tickets are limited and advance booking is needed!

Follow the link for more information

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/get-involved/events/15-october-2016-lanterns-plas-power/

autumn-apples-1Sunday 16th

Apple Day

Dove Valley Centre

Another regular feature and another annual delight. Join us for an afternoon of delicious apples, orchards, stories, art, and baking apples and potatoes in the fire. Bring your own apples and you can scrunch them into the juice – bring your own chutneys and swap them or their recipes. I am here to tell stories and lead some Museum moments: we’re collecting apple thoughts and orchard stories.

12 – 4pm

Free.

Just come and enjoy an afternoon deep in the dale

Dove Valley Centre, Under Whitle, SK17 0PR (between Longnor and Sheen)

An event for Buxton Museum’s Collections in the Landscape project

Drawing Steam

Monday 24 October, 11am-3pm

The Gothic Warehouse, Cromford Wharf, DE4 3RP

Get inspired by the landscape of Cromford Mills and High Peak Junction and sketch, scribble or draw your favourite bits onto our big drawing. Using a variety of materials, we’ll work together to create an amazing picture, 20 metres or more long, that tells the story of this special place: the birthplace of the factory system in the valley that changed the world. Part of Derwent Valley Mills Discovery Days.

An event for the Big Draw

An event for Buxton Museum’s Collections in the Landscape project

 

Tuesday 25th

Calacas: make your own tiny Day of the Dead characters

In the final days before Hallowe’en, join me for an afternoon with tiny skeletal people. Inspired by Mexican Day of the Dead ideas, we’ll make little skeletal people doing everyday thigns…there may be skeleton footballers, musicians, ladies in ball gowns, gentlemen in tophats and tails – or ladies in tophats and gentlemen in ballgowns…who knows what way the bones will inspire us!

 

Green Man Gallery, Buxton (Hardwick Square south, , SK17 6PY

https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenManGallery/

Booking needed.

Cost £6.00 (accompanying adult free – but adults could always book a place and make their own Calacas!)

Drop in in person, or call: 01298 937375 (card payment).

low-boggart-water

And if you survive that, you might like to call in for

Boggarts and Freetings: spooky stories for Hallowe’en week

Still at the Green Man Gallery, between 5 and 6pm (more or less), £3 a ticket and stories for laughter, shock, delight and dismay and a nice shiver or two for the arrival of winter!

 

Wednesday 26th October

Bone Detectives

Explore the secrets of the skulls, learn to read the clues hidden in eyesockets, teeth and the bony curves of zygomatic arches and sagittal crests. Meet some skulls, draw some bones, take your own bone-folder home. (Bring your own mystery bones with you, if you like to baffle us – only nothing too drippy and messy, thank you!)

Buxton Museum’s Pop-up Museum will be there to, so come and see some of the Treasures of the Peak and talk to museum experts…

I’ll be there at the bony end of things!

A free family day

National Trust, Ilam

11am – 3pm. Free event but car parking charges may apply

No booking needed – just turn up and join in

An event for Buxton Museum’s Collections in the Landscape project

skulls-long

Pavilion Pictures

Thursday 27 October, 11am-3pm

Pavilion Gardens, Buxton SK17 6BE

Draw, colour, collage, etch and sketch
your way around Pavilion Gardens as we
 celebrate the Big Draw in Buxton. Collect some materials from us by the Pavilion, then get exploring around the gardens and see what inspires your artwork. If it’s raining, there’s plenty to do and draw inside – from the wonderful winter garden to the bustle of the cafe and gallery.

An event for Buxton Museum’s Collections in the Landscape project

citl-long-logo

BOOKING YOUR OWN EVENT

Creeping Toad activities are tailored to suit your individual needs rather than chosen from a set menu of options. But, here are some examples of recent (2013 – 2015) creative adventures that might whet your appetite and give you some suggestions to shout at the Toad about…

a desperate race across a tabletop...
a desperate race across a tabletop…

pirates: environmentally-inspired pirates, low-leaves autumn-apples-1 low-boggart-water citl-long-logofinding nature’s treasures, writing pirate books, making maps, giant lantern pirate ships, parrots, puppets and lots of wildness: the Tiny! Pirates have appeared several times (working with Buxton community group Stone and Water), a judging panel of mermaids supervised sailing in Mottram St Andrew, pirate treasures inspired new stories… More pirate workshops »

"just how piratical are you?"
“just how piratical are you?”

challenging assumptions: ethics in environmental education session at Losehill Hall, Peak National Park

a waterfall of words and colours
a waterfall of words and colours

some fishy moments: in 2014 and 2015, with musician Steve Brown, I worked on a whole series of lovely river sessions with schools involved in the Ribble Rivers Trust’s “River in the Classroom” project, hatching trout for release back into local rivers. In September 2015, I was busy making pop-up rivers and finger-puppet river creatures at Scotland’s Salmon Festival

river pop-ups cpautre moments and thoughts of river, movement and leaping fish
river pop-ups cpautre moments and thoughts of river, movement and leaping fish

Festival of Outdoor Learning, Hollowford, Castleton: and msot eyars I’ll be at this lively weekend doing workshops that might be anything from making tiny books to spinning stories out of weather and wood..

Cave drawing 2

a pop-up landscape of Stone Age life
a pop-up landscape of Stone Age life

homes: living in caves and castles: working with props, drama and sheer imagination: cave people in search of new homes, Stone Age lives, spooky houses and mysterious castles as part of the Summer Reading Challenge in 2013

adventures everywhere: using the school for inspiration to build a class adventure, finding stories everywhere, anywhere, out of anything

touring Scotland: I’m usually up in the Highlands twice a year, telling stories, making puppets, and enjoying the wild ideas and wonderful imaginations of children in schools and everyone on public events

 

Green Man

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