New outdoor learning guide for Wales

Naturalist and TV presenter Iolo Williams launches 'High Quality Outdoor Learning Guide' for Wales

Iolo williams launch hqol guide for wales 2019 detail

Last week saw the launch of a new outdoor learning guide, developed with support from the John Muir Trust, that sets out a framework for getting young people outside and learning in Wales’ beautiful wild places.

High Quality Outdoor Learning Guide draws on the collective knowledge and experience of outdoor practitioners from across Wales. It will help teachers and educators to embed the use of the outdoors in learning and teaching in order to provide powerful learning experiences.

At the launch, Welsh naturalist and ambassador for outdoor learning Iolo Williams, said: “It is a privilege to encourage more young people to enjoy learning outdoors. We often hear about mental health issues, obesity and poor physical health and the outdoors has an important part to play tackling these issues.

“I wasn’t that great at conventional education, and there are many people like me, but I did enjoy going to a walk with my grandfather and my mother learning about nature. I see this as encouragement for other children and adults to do the same thing, learning outside the conventional classroom.”

The guide was developed by the Outdoor Education Advisors Panel Cymru in partnership with the Wales Council for Outdoor Learning, chaired by the John Muir Trust; to be used by schools, colleges, youth services, clubs and centres in Wales.

Arwel Elias, North Wales Outdoor Education Advisor said:The outdoor environment has huge potential to bring learning to life for all ages and abilities and we are extremely fortunate to have such rich natural environments on our doorstep.

“First hand experiences in the natural environment offer motivating, exciting, relevant and easily accessible opportunities for learners. These contribute to developing knowledge and skills described in the four purposes and six areas of learning and experience in the new Curriculum for Wales.”

Phil Stubbington of the John Muir Trust and chair of the Wales Council for Outdoor Learning added: “We would like to thank our partners, Snowdonia National Park Authority, Mountain Training Cymru, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Menter Iaith Cymru, Natural Resources Wales and the John Muir Trust for their funding and support, as none of it would have been possible without them.”       

High Quality Outdoor Learning for Wales sets out the first phase of an ambitious new strategy for outdoor learning in Wales, with backing from Welsh Government and the department for Education. For more information, and to download the guide (available in Welsh or English), visit here or go to Wales Council for Outdoor Learning

 Photograph above shows Iolo Williams at the launch of the 'High Quality Outdoor Learning for Wales' guide.

Welsh version:

Iolo Williams yn lansio canllaw newydd i ddysgu yn yr awyr agored

Mae canllaw newydd i ddysgu yn yr awyr agored, a ddatblygwyd gyda chefnogaeth Ymddiriedolaeth John Muir, cafodd ei lansio heddiw yng Nghanolfan Mynydda Plas y Brenin, yn gosod fframwaith ar gyfer dysgu plant a phobl ifanc rhwng 3 a 25 oed tu allan i’r dosbarth, yn rhai o fannau harddaf Cymru.

Mae’r canllaw, sy’n cael ei lansio gan y naturiaethwr a llysgennad dysgu yn yr awyr agored Iolo Williams, yn dod â gwybodaeth a phrofiad arbenigwyr awyr agored ar draws Cymru at ei gilydd.  Bydd yn cynnig arweiniad i athrawon ac addysgwyr i wneud yr awyr agored yn rhan annatod o’u dysgu er mwyn cynnig profiadau bythgofiadwy.

Yn ôl y llysgennad, Iolo Williams, “Dwi’n falch iawn o fod yn rhan o’r lansiad yma heddiw i annog mwy o blant a phobl ifanc i fwynhau dysgu yn yr awyr agored.  Mi yda ni yn clywed gymaint heddiw am broblemau iechyd meddwl, gordewdra a diffyg ymarfer corff yn gyffredinol ac mae gan yr awyr agored ran bwysig iawn i’w chwarae yn taclo’r problemau yma. 

“Doeddwn i ddim yn mwynhau addysg ffurfiol, ac mae na amryw yr un peth a fi, ond mi oeddwn i wrth fy modd yn mynd allan efo taid a fy mam am dro yn dysgu am fyd natur.  Dwi’n gweld yr adnodd yma fel hwb i fwy o blant ac oedolion wneud yr un peth, gan ddysgu yn yr awyr agored.”

Cafodd y canllaw hwn ei ddatblygu gan Banel Ymgynghorwyr Awyr Agored Cymru mewn partneriaeth gyda Chyngor Dysgu yn yr Awyr Agored Cymru, cadeiriwyd y panel gan Ymddiriedolaeth John Muir, i’w ddefnyddio gan ysgolion a cholegau, gwasanaethau ieuenctid, clybiau a chanolfannau yng Nghymru.

Dywedodd Arwel Elias, Ymgynghorydd Gwasanaeth Awyr Agored gogledd Cymru, “Mae potensial anferth yn yr awyr agored i ddod â phynciau yn fyw ac rydym yn hynod o ffodus i gael amgylchedd gyfoethog, naturiol ar stepen ein drws.

“Mae mynd allan i ddysgu yng nghanol byd natur yn cynnig cyfleoedd dysgu cyffrous, perthnasol a hawdd eu cyrraedd i blant a phobl ifanc.  Mae hefyd yn cyfrannu tuag at ddatblygu’r wybodaeth a’r sgiliau sy’n cael eu disgrifio yn y pedwar prif bwrpas a’r chwe maes dysgu a phrofi o fewn Cwricwlwm newydd Cymru.”

Ychwanegodd Phil Stubbington o Ymddiriedolaeth John Muir a chadeirydd Cyngor Dysgu yn yr Awyr Agored Cymru, “Hoffem ddiolch i’n partneriaid, Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri, Achub Mynydd Cymru, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Mentrau Iaith Cymru, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru ac Ymddiriedolaeth John Muir am eu nawdd a’u cefnogaeth, gan na fyddai dim o hyn wedi bod yn bosibl hebddyn nhw.”

‘Dysgu Awyr Agored o Ansawdd Rhagorol Cymru’ yw’r cam cyntaf ar gyfer strategaeth uchelgeisiol ar gyfer dysgu yn yr awyr agored yng Nghymru, wedi ei gefnogi gan Lywodraeth Cymru a’r adran Addysg.  Am fwy o wybodaeth, neu am gopi o ganllaw ‘Dysgu Awyr Agored o Ansawdd Rhagorol Cymru’ (ar gael yn Gymraeg a Saesneg),  ewch i OEAP / Cyngor Dysgu yn yr Awyr Agored Cymru www.walescouncilforoutdoorlearning.org.