“My bike offers me freedom, fun, adventures, fitness and access to wild places and spaces. It is a way of travelling functionally, but also just for the sheer joy and play…”
When did you start working for LtL and what does your job involve?
I started at LtL in March 2013.
I’m now in charge of the Scottish team, and I will continue to ensure that all our projects upskill and increase the confidence and ability of our teachers/practitioners to teach outdoors . With Scottish education policy moving very strongly to embed outdoor learning throughout the learning experience of every 0-18 year old, we are part of a vocal coalition of organisations in Scotland pushing this forward at all policy levels.
I lead on our Scottish Natural Heritage projects up in Scotland, currently supporting schools to make better use of local greenspace for learning. I spend a lot of time preparing leading training that is booked direct with us – early years, primary and secondary, both short twilights and INSET’s through to long term, higher level courses. I am also responsible for our UK wide training offer, supporting our risk management systems and being the office geek for social media and newsletters.
In the last 5 years I have travelled the four corners of Scotland, a fair bit of England and some of Wales. I have also just been involved in some of our ERASMUS projects in Europe and led on some work with schools in Asia. The more I travel, the more I see the shared vision and challenges for schools and nurseries, no matter where they are, and the impact that routine learning outside the classroom can have.
The 3 experiences that have best equipped you for this role?
I have also spent over a decade leading outdoor learning in residential centres across Wales, the Peak District and Highlands. This helps lend perspective on my classroom work, showing how communities, nature and adventure offers learning that no other education context can match. This work also helps put many of our concerns about risk into context – leading a group of adolescent, amateur canoeists down white water focusses your mind on what risks are ethically acceptable, why the learning needs to be balanced against the risks and how to practically manage these issues.
I spent some time in classrooms in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, teaching a lot of science but stepping in as needed as a supply teacher for a while, including lessons of Urdu, IT and modern dance. I think this experience allows me to really understand the agenda’s schools are working to and pressures that teachers face day to day.
Matt Robinson’s LtL Experience
What has been your best day at LtL and why?
At the end of my first year-long, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) course I and all the participants were invited to Edinburgh to celebrate our learning and receive certificates. I think seeing that group of teachers, knowing the different starting points and journeys they had been on, yet with a shared passion for learning outdoors, was a wonderful day.
Why a bike?
My bike offers me freedom, fun, adventures, fitness and access to wild places and spaces. It is a way of travelling functionally, but also just for the sheer joy and play of riding a bike down a rocky hillside. I use it alone and with friends, to summit mountains and along roads, looking at the view and concentrating on not crashing. My bike (and canoes, and boots) has also introduced my children to a lifetime of happy, healthy adventures.