The core team is comprised of Chantelle, Cheryl and Dylan who work as lecturers within the Early Childhood Studies and Primary Education Studies programmes. The wider multidisciplinary team encompasses a number of areas from across the university including Estates, Campus Services, students, academic and administrative staff. The team works in partnership with our students, staff and wider community to enrich, inspire and enable holistic development through innovative practice within our natural environment.
Together, they have regenerated a natural woodland environment, which has acted as a catalyst for collaborative ventures between students, staff and the local community.
Impact of work
They have supported students to take an active role in a number of projects to develop a range of skills, including bid writing, team working and project management. The students have published articles in professional magazines based on their experiences of working as partners with our staff and local organisations. They engage in playful pedagogies beyond the lecture theatres to create lively connections between theory and practice in the ‘real world’ to transform our students learning experiences. The team also works closely with local schools, practitioners and community groups to offer opportunities for outdoor learning experiences, providing valuable opportunities for their students to gain practical experience whilst engaging with their local communities.
Plans for the future
The team is currently working with their students and stakeholders to identify ways to further develop the partnership. They are going to sustain established projects and provision whilst 'branching out' into new areas. They will:
- Continue to provide opportunities for their students to work with local schools and community groups to develop knowledge, skills and experience in outdoor play and learning.
- Support their students with community-based projects from bid writing, to project management and dissemination.
- Disseminate findings from their work in academic and professional publications and at conferences.
- Organise and hold an outdoor play and learning conference in May 2018
- Design a tool-kit of best practice which will be available for our students and also for dissemination across the sector
- Actively seek funding for further international trips for students to extend their experiences of cross-cultural approaches to outdoor play and learning.
Cardiff Metropolitan University