I wanted to share the learning resources I’ve created for Angus Councils Ranger Service to support Teachers and Early Years Practitioners to engage at Crombie Country Park, Forfar Loch and Monikie Country Park. Packs are designed to engage young children creatively in using the park as a stimulus to looking, exploring, listening, talking, making and doing. Each packs is a colourful self-led facilitators packs for teachers and EYPs that includes images and descriptors for a variety of rich and creative learning activities using simple tools and natural materials. The activities are all very open so they can follow the interest of the children and can link lots of areas of the curriculum.
I created this resource within my time as freelance artist & designer at Angus Council Schools & Learning within the Creative Learning Team and worked in partnership with the Ranger Service.
New packs have been created for Monikie Country Park and Forfar Loch from the success of the pack created for Crombie Country Park. The Crombie pack was funded by Creative Scotland through the Creative Learning Networks fund.
Each pack has been adapted to suit the location with core elements the same but also have additional bespoke activites suited to each site. I love working at site specific places and responding to the surroundings, coming up with ideas and bouncing ideas with the rangers. It was great to work with Rangers – Kat Durkan from Monikie and Mhairi Kimmet from Forfar Loch who were so passionate about love of their park and outdoor learning.
Forfar Loch additional activities are ‘fabric of the land’, ‘wullie the woodlouse’, ‘wish you were here’, ‘i see a shape’ and ‘bug eyed’. Monikie additional activities are ‘countryside clues’, ‘pecking the patterns’, ‘natures perfume’ and ‘monikie monster’.
As a designer I enjoyed illustrating the maps for the new packs at Forfar Loch and Monikie Country Park, I wanted to create something simple and decorative but also practical and informative.
Myself and the rangers co-facilitate CPD sessions for Angus teachers and EYPs which are very popular with great feedback from previous attendees. CPD sessions are designed to develop teachers’ skills and confidence to creatively engage young learners in learning outdoors using art, design, and the natural environment. Once attending the CPD the resources can be booked out at the parks to use with their classes and groups.
I feel that this project really matched my passion for the great outdoors, being playful and creative and love of encouraging learning. With my own work I’m fascinated with colour, pattern, mark making and I wanted to bring elements of my work came into the park such as I used my bird stencils but instead of using paint as I do in my studio we used bird seeds or breadcrumbs to create pictures that repeat and also can play with symmetry and watching the birds and ducks eat them.
I highly recommend Crombie Country Park, Monikie Country Park or Forfar Loch for an explore and wander. Also look out for the Giant in the Forest at Crombie or Monikie!
I feel that being outdoors really inspires me and I don’t pretend that I’m an expert in nature but I used my creative thinking to get ways for people to look, stop, think, question, record what they see through simple activiities.