Strategic Leadership in Outdoor Learning: Master Class
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Strategic Leadership in Outdoor Learning: Master Class

Strategic Leadership in Outdoor Learning

In November 2011 the first IOL Strategic Forum was held at the Malvern Hills Outdoor Centre in Worcestershire.


Influential names turned out for IOL’s First Strategic Leadership Forum, held this weekend at Malvern Hills Outdoor Centre.  Thanks Malvern for a great welcome and to Rebecca Willis, Chris Loynes, David Hopkins, Randall Williams and Ian Lewis for starting provocative debates. Topics included megatrends in economics, sustainability and education, what qualities we’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century, and opportunities for outdoor learning in these trends.  It wasn’t just a hotbed of exciting ideas; participants committed to practical action to move forward projects including redesigning the curriculum, reconnecting families and communities to the outdoors, supporting teachers and selling the benefits of outdoor learning. 

Over 40 practitioners gathered to hear presentations (click the title of each to download the PDFs) on :

These presentations are given free of charge for your use, for which many thanks to the presenters.  If you would like to make a small donation to IOL once you have seen the amazing resource they provide, please click HERE.

There was also a presentation from Randall Williams on "The story of outdoor sector influencing", which will be available as a free download in a special edition  “Beyond Horizons” in Spring 2012 – check the IOL Newsletter for publication dates and details.  This will also contain articles by participants.

Key discussion areas that resulted from the presentations were:

  • What is Outdoor Learning?
  • Benefits of outdoor learning
  • Adventure Learning Schools/Free Schools
  • Rescoping the Curriculum
  • CPD for Teachers
  • Working with Families

The discussion groups are planning further action, so if you’re interested in getting involved in one of these areas, email Heather Brown to be put in touch with the discussion group contact.

In particular, we know that there is a great demand for CPD for Teachers. IOL is already supporting a growing programme of CPD for Teachers; for further details of that please see click here  IOL is already supporting a programme of CPD for Teachers; to see details of upcoming events, please see HERE.

We hope to make the Strategic Forum a biennial event, and we aim to hold the next one in October/November 2013 – watch this space for details as the venue etc is confirmed.  If you think that other events/services to help strategic thinking and planning should happen between now and then, please contact Heather Brown with your ideas.

Continuing the Strategic Debate....

Following last November’s Strategic Forum, a number of people produced articles on various aspects of the future of outdoor learning.  Some of these have appeared in Horizons already, but here they all are in one user-friendly list to download, for you to spread round your colleagues, clients and friends, to stimulate debate and generally shake things up a bit. (click on the article title to download the Word Doc. or PDF) 

We hope you enjoy them, and if you feel prompted to write an article yourself, we look forward to hearing from you!

Elspeth Mason (Horizons Editor)

Searchable Horizons Magazine PDF Article Archive

IOL has a new web area where anyone will be able to search within and download Horizons articles (almost 300 separate articles are currently available). Search the archive.

Why Join?

We support individuals and organisations who use the outdoors to make a difference for others. Our mission is to increase participation in outdoor learning and to recognise and improve its quality in the UK.

Join us and support your profession for your:

  • Voice
  • Community
  • Professional Development
  • Guidance
  • and negotiated Deals & Discounts.
Please note we expect all members to adhere to our Code of Conduct (below)