Using nature to develop the capacity of communities.
Living Classrooms was originally established as a charitable company in 2010. It was set up to deliver educational programmes for a diverse range of client groups, including children's centres, adult community groups and schools and has done so with additional support from a wide range of external funders. One of its principal activities from this time was the hosting and support of the Forest Education Initiative - Forest School Co-ordinator post. It is able to draw on a multi-disciplinary team, derived from backgrounds in early years education, primary education, secondary education, youth work, outdoor education, forest school, social work, environmental education and landscaping.
Living Classrooms became a Community Interest Company in 2016 and is actively supported by Mindstretchers Ltd, which is a leading provider of early years and primary school sector CPD training in the UK. Mindstretchers also runs the award-winning Auchlone Nature Kindergarten and has regularly supported Living Classrooms through the use of these facilities and expertise. Claire Warden also actively supports Living Classrooms both through her own company and through direct support and involvement.
Living Classrooms, as a result of Claire Warden's direct support, undertook in 2016 its most ambitious project to date. It established and operates the International Association of Nature Pedagogy, a professional organisation which aims to promote and support all forms of nature-based education and associated activity and research around the world.
Please follow the links below for further background information:
In addition to its work through the International Association of Nature Pedagogy, Living Classrooms is continuing to develop its role in the not-for-profit education sector and in line with this its principal aims are to:
- Promote excellence in play and learning, through innovative, nature-based experiences.
- Facilitate community involvement, through play and learning outdoors.
It looks to achieve these aims through:
- Offering a sustainable approach to enable volunteers and workforces to become motivated, skilled and confident in working outside with children on a regular basis, promoting children’s play, learning and well-being.
- Delivering training to support play and learning through reflective, motivational, individualised and workplace related delivery.
- Facilitating consultation processes throughout all projects to include all stakeholders and to deliver meaningful outcomes.
- Raising the profile of the purpose and style of naturalised play spaces for children and young people, so that adults can identify and then understand the play and learning that they see.
- Promoting the use of naturalistic, open-ended resources with high play affordances.
- Supporting communities, advising on infrastructure and landscaping in developing play and learning spaces inside and out.