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Welcome to IOL East

IOL East photo comp winner IOL East banner
‘We are here to Support, Develop, Promote and Sustain Outdoor Learning in the East Region’

IOL East Region Open Meetings

Next IOL East Regional Meeting - watch this space

IOL East Photo Competition: a winner

Many thanks to all members who contributed to our recent IOL East Region Photo Competition. We had some great pictures of many varied outdoor activities, and lots of different aspects of outdoor learning were represented. We were also delighted to see a cross section of ages represented as well as some fantastic and creative scenes and projects. 

Congratulations goes to our winner, Nicola Harrison.

Her photo (above left in the page banner) is of a family Forest School group taken at Lion Wood, Norwich, in the snow – real proof that outdoor learning can start (and continue!) whatever age!

Another of the compeition entries is also in the banner - a group enjoying being out on the river.

As a region we hope to host other events of this kind. Do get in touch with us if you’ve any ideas of how we can reach out and engage with more of our East Region members.

Bettina Maccariello, East PDC

Some examples of photos that were entered into the competition.

East region photo comp entry  ast region photo comp entry  ast region photo comp entry  ast region photo comp entry
ast region photo comp entry 
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East Event Nov 2014  East Event Nov 2014 1  East Event Nov 2014  

East Region Meeting - November 2014

My reflections (from Russ McAlinden, IOL East, Chair)
- photos above from Russ
The meeting was very enjoyable, especially the first half hour, in which those attending shared ideas on ice-breaker and team building tasks (pics above).  We had some healthy discussion on Health & Wellbeing in the Outdoors and what this meant to us as professionals.  For our next meeting we would like to invite a representative from the BCU to come and update members on the current situation with Kayaking and Canoeing in the UK.

We welcome all IOL members to our regional meetings and hope to see some new faces as we move around the region.

(For the minutes of the meeting see the IOL documents/newsletter web page)

Kindest regards, Russ 

HOW TO BOOK for IOL Events

APIOL Bursary Scheme for IOL East Members

APIOL East Region Bursary application form - DOWNLOAD

A new initiative to support practitioners in the East Region

Enabling Outdoor Learning for Teachers in the East Region took place 21/5/2013

  • It was absolutely fantastic to meet so many enthusiastic teachers who are keen to embrace outdoor learning within their schools.  Participants had the chance to learn more about many different ways of implementing outdoor learning including, bushcraft, forest schools, orienteering, outdoor art, nest building, outdoor learning cards, mini beasts and outdoor cooking.  The day was topped off by Andy Robinson giving a talk on the IOL and how it works to sustain outdoor learning across the country.  I was honoured to have the opportunity to be the Key Note Speaker, my talk was focussed on inspiring the visiting teachers to go back into their respective schools and become that inspirational teacher, who sets a seed in a child’s mind through Outdoor Learning.  I hope that the visiting teachers found the talks and the day useful and that they could take something from the day. (Russell McAlinden, IOL East Chair)

Some photos of the event.....

East EOL pic 1 East EOL pic 2 East EOL pic 3 East EOL pic 4

FEEDBACK from participants

  • Good ideas/ good to experience potential of activities
  • Excellent ideas, relevant, creative lessons- lots of learning in a fun way
  • Creative ideas- Literacy links, numeracy links, I want to organise a whole school outside learning day using these ideas
  • Learning about plant ID, simple recopies with children as part of bushcraft
  • Shown how important it is to get children outside. Outdoor learning has something for everyone.
  • Learned how much fun outdoor learning is. Learned some simple ideas to get started and how much the outside has to offer for education.
  • Great opportunity to know what an experience feels like for the first time (blind in a forest)! Fantastic time to share good practice.
  • Teambuilding activities, numeracy, literacy, ICT links, forest schools activity, orienteering ideas for primary age pupils.
  • Good to meet with other providers and local teachers
  • Good networking, good workshop options and providers
  • Good networking, interesting, fun, diverse
  • Very informative, good to meet like-minded people, lots of easy to implement ideas, very relaxed, liked the choices.
  • Nice short workshops, great facility/ venue, helpful, friendly informative staff.
  • Friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, inspiring
  • Friendly, knowledgeable tutors/ good practical activities, motivating made me want to go back to school and try new activities
  • Practical activities that are easy to implement, Knowledgeable and friendly tutors, Approachable, Excellent practical ideas.
  • Bread, cards, QR reader-I Pads, taster sessions, contacts, new ideas.

IOL East Region - Next Meetings

  • Date of next meeting : 9 Feb 15: potentially at Stowmarket
  • Date of the AGM: 22nd June potentially at Lee Valley

IOL East Region AGM 2013 - minutes from the AGM are now on the IOL Members Documents page HERE

IOL East Chair, Russell McAlinden writes (13.5.13)

My aim is to really get the IOL in the East onto a new track.  One of the first things that I have done has been to implement a Mission Statement which reads, ‘We are here to Support, Develop, Promote & Sustain Outdoor Learning in the East Region’

This Mission Statement I hope helps to foster the ethos of the IOL in general and should guide our regional team. Alongside this I already have in my mind a number of aspirations including:
1.      Developing a 3 year plan
a.      From this creating an annual operational plan for the East Team
2.      Re-structure how our East Team meetings work so that more IOL members might attend.
3.      Find ways of making the IOL more well known in the East, and hopefully increasing our membership base.
4.      The creation of a regional Newsletter, which will go out every academic term (so 3 per year).
5.      Promote the SIG’s to organisation in the East (I think that the SIG’s are major selling point of the IOL and we should embrace them)
6.      Learn from our neighbouring regions and develop our own unique activities.

I would very much welcome any Outdoor Practitioners in the East Region to contact me regarding joining the IOL and potentially being part of our East Team.

Russell McAlinden

IOL East Region Conference (including the IOL National AGM 2012)

Outdoor Learning - making a difference

IOL East conference Saturday 3rd March at Pinewood School, Herts. This event saw 30 people gather for a large range of activities, we had Keynote presentations from Mark Newey about Life Coaching and from Paskall Blackwell from the Lee Valley centre about the Olympic white water course just down the road.

Outside, key events included African Drumming in the Yurt, an introduction to the Environment cards, GPS orienteering, friction fire lighting and much more, what’s more the sun was shining. The East committee have already started to think about the 2013 conference and a programme of events through the year, but if you are in the East region and have some ideas of things you would like to see in the program or at the conference please get in touch. Many thanks to Pinewood school for making us feel so welcome.

2011 A Day of Celebrating Outdoor Learning & Practice

This was held on Saturday 19th March 2011 and here are a few images from the day - thank you to Karl Huebler for these.

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  • Saturday  19th March 2011 at Hallowtree Scout Centre, Ipswich  (Cost £15 IOL  Members, £20 non members)
  • Keynote: Danny Golding  ‘On Thin Ice: A Journey Across Greenland’  
  • Workshops included: - Challenging Behaviour - Communication While Having Special Needs - Urban Based Adventure - Outdoor Survival - Outdoor Learning Cards - Doing Your DofE Award Through The Outdoors - Outdoor Therapy - Outdoor Learning in the Secondary School Curriculum - Leave No Trace
  • - AGM & Election of New East Region Committee (see right panel) To download a copy of the minutes from the AGM you will need to log in as a member and go to this page.
  • The committee both new and old would like to make special thanks to the following, the Scouts for providing the food, the providers for the different workshops of the conference and all members of the Executive committee for the support in getting the Eastern region conference running.


  • IOL Visits The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Special Educational Needs Conference: MK Dons Stadium, Milton Keynes. DofE’s East Region recently organised a conference with a difference. The focus was on delivering the programme to young people with special educational needs. Members of the IOL East committee helped to deliver the day, and availed of the opportunity to market IOL at the conference’s ‘market place’. Many leaders and interested parties attended from as far away as the Orkney Islands so we had a very wide captive audience. It was fantastic to see how IOL’s ethos and accreditation framework resonated with many of the delegates. It was a wonderful confirmation of the many aspects of outdoor learning. The conference was a big success on many fronts, and we greatly appreciated being able to advertise the work and ethos of IOL. The venue was a delight. Thanks to Anne Newcombe, DofE East Director, for inviting us.
  • IOL Accreditations Information Evening: Hertfordshire Outdoors. The East Region’s PDC recently got together with Herts Outdoors to run a local IOL accreditations info evening. Held at Herts Young Mariners Base in Cheshunt, the event attracted practitioners at various stages of their careers from around Hertfordshire. There was a general presentation of the accreditation framework followed by a discussion especially around RPIOL and APIOL, what the accreditations mean, how to become involved, and the benefits of holding a qualification. It was good to have APIOL holders present to share their perspectives on actually embarking and going through the process, and finally being assessed. We discussed how practitioners progress through the accreditation framework, and then how many want to ‘put something back’ and go on to become mentors, assessors and RPIOL internal facilitators. The hope is that such an information evening will encourage outdoor practitioners to reflect on their practice and perhaps embark on the IOL accreditation process. It was an enjoyable and informative evening, and one way to share locally what IOL has to offer. It is hoped that East region will hold similar info evenings in the future.

                                                                                                                                                        Bettina Maccariello, PDC East

If you have any thoughts about IOL in the East etc, please do email Bettina . All input is gratefully appreciated. I would also be very grateful if you could pass this information to your friends and colleagues. We hope to put it on the IOL website.

Looking forward to seeing you at either one or both of the events.

Kind regards,

Bettina Maccariello

Vital information on Insurance for all IOL Events


East region AGM minutes - 20.1.2010 

East region meeting minutes - 5.5.2010 


Here we have information for and pertaining to our England East Region.

If you have any info that could be included here please email details 


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East Region Exec

- Antonia Johnson  
- Lawrence Chapman   
Committee Members: Karl Huebler, John Weinstock, Sally Webster, Betiina Maccariello

PDC - Bettina Maccariello - Email Bettina