Hi, my name is Will Burns. I’m a qualified teacher and Forest School Leader. I love being outdoors, reading, writing and watching football.
I am the founder and director of The Learning Ranger Ltd.
As a primary school teacher I used to stand at the doorway leading from my classroom to the playground and admire the sheer joy and excitement when the children went outside to play.
I wanted to be outside just as much as they did, so I used to teach outdoors as much as possible. But with so much curriculum to cram in it became harder and harder to do.
I left mainstream teaching to go into outdoor education with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and The Countryside Education Trust. I got to see first-hand how memorable and engaging learning outdoors can be. Teachers would often comment on how different the children were when learning outdoors, especially the quiet ones.
Unfortunately, research highlights that children are spending less and less meaningful time outdoors. This is particularly true for urban children in deprived areas. To some children the school ground is their only access to safe outdoor play.
There are a number of different reasons for children spending less time outdoors, such as watching more TV, playing more video games or surfing the web. But there does seem to be an underlying culture of fear that is restraining children’s outdoor experiences.
School budgets are also being cut and some schools are struggling to afford the rising cost of school trips (especially coach travel). Some parents are feeling the ‘pinch’ too and find it hard to contribute to fees. This means that some children are missing out on fun and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom.
I’ve decided to fly solo and set up The Learning Ranger to help reverse these trends.
Teaching Forest School gives children the skills and confidence to enjoy the great outdoors and not think of it as the great unknown. Being a conservationist, I also want children to cherish and protect the environment. After all, children are the future custodians of the World, and if we cannot motivate them to understand and protect it, who else will?
With the company being fully mobile and well-resourced it means that I can bring everything I need to deliver quality outdoor education within the school grounds. This will greatly reduce school expenditure because there will be no need for extortionate coach travel.
By bringing outdoor education into schools I can inspire children to engage with subjects in new and exciting ways.
Read more in the ‘Why choose The Learning Ranger?’ section.