Two Year John Muir Award Project

Integrating Outdoor Learning into the Curriculum for Excellence, through the John Muir Award

Outdoor learning is an important and compulsory part of a child's education throughout their school career.

In partnership with Primary Schools in Fife, Ardroy has created a two year inter-disciplinary programme, achieving key outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence.

We've attempted to summarise all this onto one page as below:-

The John Muir Award has three levels, and is all about wild places. There are four elements to it:-

Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share a Wild Place.

There is an excellent document here illustrating how the Award integrates into the CfE.

Central to the plan is to have the same group with the same Instructor over the duration of two years. Children will attend Ardroy in the summer of their P6 year, and return as P7s for a different, winter programme. (Some schools opt to do this the other way round). This allows for improved continuity and CfE outcomes to be achieved. Specific outcomes will be listed for each of the residential courses and Instructors will incorporate these into their sessions.

The P6 residential course objective is to complete the major elements of the John Muir Discovery Award.

During the period between the residential courses schools work on projects and outdoor learning experiences which complement the outcomes that will be focused on during their time at Ardroy and reinforced by a "Discovery Day" delivered at the school by Ardroy staff for the P6's starting their 2 year course.

Discovery Days happen very early in the Autumn term, and consist of presentations from the new P7s to the new P6s. Ardroy instructors, teachers & invited guests usually attend as well. This is then followed by an environmentally focused outdoor learning session with Ardroy staff, based at the school. Other agencies from Fife including the Ranger service and Kingdom of Fife Orienteers are also involved.

The P7s will begin their John Muir Explorer Award at school in the autumn term, which will integrate with the second residential course at Ardroy.  Progression is a strong theme here, where the children are given much more ownership and responsibility for completing the award. More details are here.

There is scope to link this course beyond P7 into secondary school using the John Muir Conserver Award in conjunction with CfE outcomes.We are in discussion with High Schools and individuals about how to progress this further.

We would like to see this model of integrated outdoor learning rolled out to other schools so they can benefit from this innovative initiative created initially by Donibristle Primary School & Ardroy OEC, and would welcome enquiries from schools.We are now working with 7 schools across Fife delivering this programme.

To find out more, please speak to Phil Thompson at Ardroy.

Resources for the two year John Muir Project:-

Please note these are the documents produced in conjunction with Donibristle PS, the first school we developed this project with, and they are provided as examples. We consult with every school and design a similar but tailored package to suit your requirements.