How can you use Going Wild books to teach the science curriculum outdoors?

We were invited to give the key note Margaret Collis Lecture at the ASE (Association of Science Education) Conference on the 15th January.  It was a wonderful opportunity to speak to an audience of mainly primary school teachers about all of the exciting opportunities the natural world offers for teaching not only about science but right across the curriculum.

We were able to demonstrate how many of the fun and creative activities featured in our books are relevant to the curriculum and can easily be used in the school grounds or in a local park to deliver outdoor education on a regular basis on the doorstep. We believe that this approach gets over most of the barriers to taking classes of children outside. Click on the link below (on our website to see a few slides showing a couple of ideas which we developed with a school in London, using the park next door to the school and the school grounds.

Going Wild ASE information 15 Jan 2016

Our key message to the conference was to stress the importance and benefits of reconnecting children with the natural world but also to excite them about all of the possibilities offered by the natural world for teaching and learning.  The audience was very responsive and appreciative and we hope that they might now feel able to use the outdoors more creatively in their teaching.

If you are a primary school teacher, please use our books to deliver exciting lessons outdoors but we might suggest they don’t use the hooked stick for catching particularly wild runaway children!

Going Wild – Keynote speakers – The Margret Collis Lecture at the Association of Science Education conference in Birmingham

Last Saturday we delivered a lecture to an enthusiastic group of science teachers at the ASE conference.  Thank you everyone for listening, you were a great audience and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to try and show how science can so easily be taught outdoors.  We hope some of our ideas and simple activities have inspired you, and made it a little easier to take your class out, every day, whatever the weather, even if you just have a small outdoor space around your school.

It was fun!

PS We particularly loved your idea for the stick to catch any runaway wild children!

ase picture

Natural fireworks for a “no bang” bonfire night!

Have a go at making some flaming twizzling twirlers for bonfire night!  38 fireballs-1

Thread brightly coloured leaves onto long sticks (dogwood is great as it thin and straight) Tie a piece of string around a small stick and cover with clay to make a ball.  Stick your bright leafy sticks into the ball to make a star.  Hang from a tree, twist and release.  Watch it spin just like a Catherine wheel

.38 wind twizzlers-2

This twirler was made by sticking lots of brightly coloured leaves onto a paper plate with PVA glue.  Once dry cut the plate into a snail/spiral and hang in the wind.

More instructions on fun things to do on bon-fire night look at “The Wild Weather Book”, The Stick Book, or the Wild City Book!

Our Dragon won an award!

“Quite Magical, but difficult to find” said chairman of The Oxford Preservation Trust as he handed us our certificate at the awards ceremony last night.  “Ahhh” we wanted to say, “how many dragons have you seen?  Dragons are never easy to find!”

If you are brave and want to try and find our dragon, here is a clue as to where she was last seen.

Clue: Start at the entrance of Magdalen wood, Oxford (Woodfarm entrance by the shops) and head into the deepest part of the wood.  She is hiding in there somewhere!

Here is a picture of the “team” proudly showing off our certificate.


From left Jane Gallagher OPA (Oxford Play Association) who came up with the idea of playful woodlands, Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks (Going Wild) and Stuart Turner (Land Artist and Dragon Creator)


Here are a few pictures of the last lucky children to get a ride on her back!

dragons den-101 dragons den-184