Natasha Branston: Educating Kids Outdoors (ep22)

„You just have to provide these suggestions and the children will take them in the way they want. We have to try and help people connect in their own way, in their own time. And I want schools to feel that connection.“

natasha branston

In episode 22 of the Plumed Serpent I welcome Natasha Branston, Forest School Leader and the Founder of Educating Kids Outdoors.

Natasha talks about how children are restricted in their creativity and freedom of expression and exploration due to the curriculum driven school politics, lack of risk, general fear and tendencies of collectivism in the UK. And how this creates an environment of obedience and stereotype behavior and thinking, what is quite the contrary what we need nowadays when it comes to problem solving and adaptability. And how much children open up and thrive when they’re given the space and opportunity to be outdoors.

Natasha emphasizes that being outside is fostering self-confidence, embodiment, compassion, trust and the feeling of belonging. And how her approach of learn, connect and protect is sparking the interest in taking action. Natasha shares one of her methods of connection with nature and oneself and how her „Tasha-timeout“ influences families in their outdoor behavior.

Background and contact

Natasha Branston is a Forest School Leader and the Founder of Educating Kids Outdoors. She and her team of EKO Leaders work in primary, secondary and special schools all over the West Midlands, UK delivering curriculum linked and co-curriculum outdoor learning sessions during and after the school day, as well as during the school holidays.

Her aim is to inspire school leaders and upskill school teachers to have the confidence and belief in developing sustainable and alternative approaches to learning; beyond the classroom walls.

Natasha’s vision is for all school learning to move seamlessly indoors and outdoors, throughout a child’s education, with children and their teachers having the opportunity to connect to nature, to be aware of the seasons and to learn to manage risk effectively. There is so much good practice of inspiring and impactful outdoor learning around the world and Natasha looks for ways to share these ideas and strategies with UK schools.

Natasha’s website: Educating Kids Outdoors

Plumed Serpent is a podcast exploring our paths to transform oneself and the world through nature connection*.

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