We love hearing about all the Trailblazing going on in our schools and it's always nice when a school is kind enough to share some of their Trailblazer News.
St. Albans Primary School in Havant are a fantastic example of a school that uses Trailblazer daily to enhance school life and get children outdoors. They even produce a termly Trailblazer newsletter to share their achievements.
Year R take part in Welly Wednesdays when they go outside to learn whatever the weather. Here's a quote from Aidan:
"I really like building outside with sticks. i feel happy when we are running around the filed looking for things..."
In connection with their work on birds, Year One have been visited by Jan Atkinson from the Langstone Harbour Little Tern project. They have also found a 'Blackbird's Lunch' - a very popular activity from our Trailblazer Coordinator Training Day!
Other activities throughout the school have included; forming a Green team to deal with recycling, gardening and a thoroughly enjoyable trip to Stubbington. The school even have pupil ambassadors for Trailblazer and Recycling.
If you are a Trailblazer Coordinator you can read more about St Alban's on our School Focus page.
To find out more about becoming a Trailblazer School please contact email@example.com
Come along to the Outdoor Education, PE and DofE Service Day on Friday 25th April 2014.
Join us for a day of practical workshops, which will inspire you to take advantage of the outdoor environment and give you new ideas for activities that you can do with your young people.
There will also be an introduction to the day from John Clarke, Deputy Director of Children's Services, plus a special guest - Dani King The Olympic cyclist and World Record Holder will also be there for the talk in the whole-group session in the morning.
With the new curriculum on the horizon many schools are taking the opportunity to integrate outdoor learning into everyday classroom life.
The new curriculum offers many opportunities for outdoor learning and our Trailblazer scheme is the perfect starting point for gaining and sharing outdoor ideas.
Many people find it easy to include outdoor learning in subjects like science but struggle to use the outdoors in less obvious subjects.
We can help you to make the most of your outdoor environment (whatever size) and this years Trailblazer Coordinator courses will help you get to grips with the new Curriculum.
Our Trailblazer schools have access to outdoor lesson ideas and we will be providing some fresh new ideas throughout the year. We also update our website regularly with information to inspire you.
Our next Trailblazer courses are:
Friday 14 March 2014 – Thatcham Nature Reserve
Friday 10 October 2014 – Gilbert White’s House, Selborne
For further details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our yearly Trailblazer Validation survey results always amaze us! The variety of activities that schools are carrying out and the innovative ways that Trailblazer has become a part of the curriculum make very interesting reading.
The Validation Survey is sent out to our Trailblazer schools after the Easter holidays and is our way of finding out how Trailblazer is progressing.
Some of the most interesting activities we have heard about include:
Weekend Family Groundforce
Growing a natural wigwam
Japanese Zen Gardens
Milk Bottle Birds
Pirates of the Caribeean Number Hunt
Trailblazer is a big part of school life for many children and provides lasting memories. Here are some highlights from our schools.
Setting up a ‘Knight School’ where children trained their parents to be knights. All parents came along and did jousting, dragon fighting, archery and agility trails.
Working in family groups on Trailblazer mornings – giving year groups the chance to work together
Afternoon tea made with school-grown produce
Year 2 spelling tests outside involving natural objects
Seeing the newts at the bug hotel eating bugs
Twig epitaphs and twig skeletons*
The benefits of Trailblazer are varied and not just academic:
Less academic children being able to shine, giving a big boost in self-esteem.
Less disruption during lesson time because they have been outside.
Newer teachers becoming involved and confident.
Seeing the children become more independent and confident.
Seeing children build resilience by taking risks and challenging themselves when unsure.
Our schools find Trailblazer a positive addition to the curriculum:
At the beginning of the year my class were extremely difficult, they could not work as a team and lacked compassion towards other class members who were not their friends. After PSHE lessons outside working together they became the most supportive and helpful group of children. They encourage each other and this has transferred into their behaviour in the classroom.
Ofsted liked our multi-sensory approach
Children always more excited on the day their Trailblazer task is set and they know the quicker they get other work completed the more time they will have outside.
If you are a Trailblazer school and would like to view a full report of the Validation survey please click here.
If you are interested in becoming a Trailblazer school please contact email@example.com for more details.
* You can find wonderful seasonal ideas for outside activities on the Woodland Trust website.
The first half of the new school year has seen the Trailblazer team carrying out some exciting outdoor training and proving that getting outside is possible even in the most inclement weather (although I think we can make an exception for storms!).
Our Trailblazer Coordinator Course on 11 October at Hilliers got off to a sunny start but as soon as we left the classroom for the great outdoors we were treated to a downpour. Luckily we had a well-prepared group of delegates who donned raincoats and wellies and kept on smiling.
The group carried out a range of activities including Raccoon Circles, searching for a blackbird’s lunch (I am guessing there were plenty of worms around!) and team racing using the Caterpillar track.
The course was well-received and the delegates left with enthusiasm to start Trailblazing in their schools. We are looking forward to hearing about the activities they have planned and hope to share some of them with our Trailblazer schools.
To find out more about upcoming Trailblazer Coordinator courses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On 22 October we held one of our popular Maths Outdoors Workshops. The course was held at Osborne School and 24 teachers were treated to an afternoon of practical Maths by the inspiring Marie Spencer. Activities included Popcorn, Natures Pictograms, 20p/50p game, Reflecting Leaves and Ahhhh Acute Angles. A very intriguing sounding list!
We will be running another Maths Outdoors Workshop during the summer so please contact email@example.com if you would like to know more.
Further news and information for Trailblazer schools can be found on our Coordinators' page. If you are not a Trailblazer school and would like further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org