The ethos of Forest School and learning techniques for literacy and numeracy have been brought together in a unique project in Dunnollie Woodlands.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Adult Learning and Community Development team has been working with Rowan Ecology and Education Support to offer adult learners learning in the great outdoors.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
Argyll and Bute Council, Rowan Ecology, learners and volunteers, worked together to develop a programme which supports and develops an understanding of learning; and through individual and collective exploration, improving literacy and numeracy as well as developing team-building and problem-solving skills.
The council is committed to enabling everyone who is part of a community to play a part in supporting and developing that community. The confidence, self-esteem and learned skills of the participants will maximise their opportunities and increase their employment prospects.
The pilot will be evaluated prior to a decision being made as to whether or not an ongoing Wood Word project will be established.
Now, four of the group have successfully completed their John Muir Discover Award, which promotes educational, social and personal development through exploration of wild places and involvement in conservation.
Kim McIntosh, John Muir Award Scotland Inclusion Manager for the John Muir Trust commented, “It is fantastic to see the adults on the WoodWord project achieve their John Muir Awards. They have shown real commitment to the project and it is great to hear about the benefits of their work for both people and place. The opportunities to connect with the natural environment and each other has had a positive impact on the confidence of those involved, and their investment in the woodlands has made a real difference to wild places. Congratulations to all on their achievements.”
Ross Preston of Rowan Ecology and Education Support commented, “This has been an inspirational process for all of us involved in the project. Outdoor education tends to focus on children but what we have shown here is that adults can benefit greatly as well by taking learning to the outdoor environment.”