Jane Mackenzie

Jane Mackenzie
School Nature Grants Project

“I love being able to inspire educators to embrace outdoor learning whilst covering the whole curriculum, knowing that it has a huge impact on children like my daughter.”

About Jane

When did you start working for LtL and what does your job involve?

I began working for Ltl in March 2021, although I’ve been aware of the organisation through my work in schools for a lot longer.

I work on the Local Schools Nature Grants programme delivering training to early years settings and schools in how to get the best out of outdoor play and learning. I also support the delivery of the Forest Kindergarten SQA Workplace Award where Early Years Practitioners can gain the skills and confidence to start using local greenspace and woodlands to enhance the opportunities they provide for their learners.

The 3 experiences that have best equipped you for this role?

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I spent five years as an Early Childhood Educator within Early Years settings which gives me a real insight into the challenges and opportunities that exist in developing outdoor play and learning for this age group. There’s nothing better than taking children and staff to the woods for the first time and watching as the shoulders relax, curiosity is sparked, and they begin to fully appreciate the freedom a natural environment can bring.

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I’ve helped redevelop concrete jungle playgrounds into amazing spaces to play and learn, introducing loose parts and increasing the biodiversity on offer. It’s great to see the impact simple changes can make to the experience for children and staff.

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I discovered early on that my eldest child needed to move to learn. She thrived in outdoor environments and I realised that if it was true for her, it was probably also true for many of her classmates. I love being able to inspire educators to embrace outdoor learning whilst covering the whole curriculum, knowing that it has a huge impact on children like my daughter.

Jane’s LtL Experience

Canoe

Why a canoe?

I’m not much of a thrill-seeker in the great outdoors – for me, getting into nature is about escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I love the freedom of paddling down a quiet loch in a Canadian canoe, discovering forgotten castles and setting up camp on your very own island!

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