Aberdeen’s Early Learning and Childcare professionals to benchmark outdoor learning in Germany

Aberdeen City councillor’s today (Thursday 16 January) approved a proposal for twenty of Aberdeen’s Early Leaning and Childcare (ELC) professionals to visit their counterparts in Germany in order to benchmark approaches to outdoors learning that can be applied in the city.

The visit is fully funded with a grant from the ERASMUS+ the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport, and follows on from a successful five-day visit by the practitioners to Spain in October to study training designed specifically for the group by Professor Katia Hueso, the founder of the first outdoor nursery in Spain.

The visit is planned for April this year and the group will experience outdoor settings based in North Germany and receive high quality training from those responsible for initiating and developing these services. The knowledge gained will help underpin approaches to outdoor learning as part of Aberdeen City Council’s expansion of ELC services.

Councillor John Wheeler, Education Operational Delivery Committee Convener, said: “These visits will play a crucial part in our development of outdoor learning for our younger children as part of our ELC services expansion.

“There is a compelling argument to be made for the benefits of outdoor learning in terms of children’s health and development. It makes perfect sense to make use of these externally-funded training opportunities to help our practitioners provide the best provision possible to our young children and part of our ambitious ELC expansion roll-out which will have a strong outdoor learning component”.

The Aberdeen group are sharing their experiences as part of a wider project called WIGLS (Working in Green Local Spaces), developed to support practitioners in outdoor practices across the city. In late autumn, 2020, they will also share their findings at a conference in Aberdeen.

Photograph shows Aberdeen's Early Learning practitioners on their learning trip in Spain last year