A theme that emerged from our Learning Everywhere conference in July was the idea of encouraging schools and other learning groups to use our fantastic resource of local parks to support and develop learning experiences for children in Bristol.
The current way in which our parks are used by learning groups varies significantly from place to place in part determined by the history of use of learning providers and relationships between the space and groups.
What is clear, and was reinforced at our conference, is that teachers do not usually live in the area where they teach and often do not have local knowledge of what green spaces or parks are within walking distance of their school. A fantastic resource to emerge in the last year is Bristol Parkhive - a fantastic app that will highlight local parks and green spaces nearby and provide useful information on what facilities are there, what different spaces look like and if there is a local parks group that works with the council to look after and manage the space.
Following on from the conference a group is coming together to collaborate to explore how we can create a template in Bristol that will provide schools and other learning groups clarity on how they can use parks to support their learning.
The meeting on the 5th December will be exploring the following areas:
It is hoped that an interest group will emerge from this to continue to work with Bristol City Council, as the main landowner, and parks groups to explore how we support and continue to develop both a culture of learning in parks and spaces that support it. Key to this will be developing a successful working partnership between the council, the local community and schools and learning groups to develop, use and manage these spaces.
Jon Attwood has been leading outdoor activities in the wider Bristol area for over 20 years. He developed a passion for nature and a love of the outdoors as a child and was lucky to have a free range childhood with plenty of time exploring wild corners of rural Essex. Jon is a Forest School leader and trainer and is happiest in the woods sharing experiences with children and adults.