Three quarters of Scotland’s colleges use the John Muir Award

Colleges in Scotland have seen a 30% year on year growth of John Muir Award activity over the past four years according to John Muir Trust f

Colleges in Scotland have seen a 30% year on year growth of John Muir Award activity over the past four years according to John Muir Trust figures. Today three quarters of the 27 colleges in Scotland are delivering the Award.

The Trust has seen a huge variety of college departments and disciplines getting involved with its main nature engagement initiative. Working with a mixture of people from school leavers to adult learners, colleges are making the most of the opportunities presented by the flexibility and suitability of the John Muir Award for supporting curriculum delivery.

Art and Design students at West College Scotland took their creativity outdoors and presented a gallery of Inverclyde’s wildlife through painting and drawing displayed at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.

Conservation Management students at Scotland's Rural College developed practical pathwork skills volunteering at the Trust’s Sandwood Bay.

Childcare and Education students at Dumfries and Galloway College shared their Award experiences by leading woodland learning sessions with their pupils.

Beyond vocational courses, young people and adults who may not traditionally access college education and students with additional support needs got involved in transition and life skills programmes framed around the Award.

The John Muir Trust works closely with the College Development Network to support college staff to engage with the Award and take their curriculum outdoors.

Aileen Duffy from the College Development Network commented on why lecturers are so keen to get involved: “Lecturers who were already doing outdoor learning have said that the John Muir Award is a great way to structure the activities, to get support, to motivate students and to increase the value of learning outdoors. Colleges can see how the Award can complement their curriculum by providing students with the opportunity to develop employability skills whilst recognising wider achievement.”

During the academic year 2013-14 over 500 college students in Scotland achieved a John Muir Award, delivered through 46 unique college courses. The Trust plans to continue to support this activity as interest grows, giving more students opportunities to engage with wild places through outdoor learning.


For more information about the Award and the curriculum see ‘Curriculum for Excellence and the John Muir Award’ (Scotland) or ‘The John Muir Award and the National Curriculum’ (England).

For more information about the John Muir Award in colleges see ‘Inclusion, wild places and the John Muir Award’ or contact Kim McIntosh, John Muir Award Scotland Inclusion Manager, 0131 554 0114,
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