Monday 22 October, a group of third year students studying Geography and Global Learning met with LEAF Officers, Ray Foley and Rachel Geary, in Coillte’s Curragh Chase Forest Park. Their lecturer, Anne Dolan, was keen for her students to learn about the LEAF programme and encourage these soon to be teachers to bring their own students outdoors and reconnect with nature.

The college students were introduced to the Learning about Forests (LEAF) programme and given a brief history of the Forest Park. They were shown a variety of different ways that the outdoors can be used to educate children in all curricular areas. The trip was a huge success!









Upon returning to college, the students reflected on the trip to the forest. Below is a sample of just some of these reflections:

  • ‘I learnt that a deep knowledge of nature is not required to teach the children. All of the activities that we engaged in on the trip are relevant to school placement. There is no denying that outdoor learning is fundamental in the child’s holistic development. The children learn about their surroundings and can engage with the environment they live in.’
  • ‘As well as really enjoying learning about the trees and completing these activities, I was fascinated to see how working and learning outdoors enhanced my own learning and definitely understand how it can change and benefit children. After this trip, I will definitely be more likely to bring my children outdoors and allow them to experience nature through learning. This trip to the Curragh Chase Forest Park has also taught me that as a teacher, it is okay not to know everything about the trees and nature, but to start off with one tree and allow the children themselves to explore and investigate nature.’

  • ‘Prior to our visit to the Curragh Chase Forest Park I had very little if not, zero knowledge of what educational activities and games that I could use on school placement or over the course of my career and I was certain that any outdoor lessons were out of my depth. I had very little knowledge of trees and the various species. Thankfully my outlook has utterly changed after our exciting outdoor experience. We learned how to integrate different subjects such as Math, Science and Geography, with the outdoors. This for me was the most interesting and worthwhile aspect of the trip. I didn’t just gain knowledge of the outdoors, but I gained an innate interest too and hope to share this interest and curiosity with my students in years to come.’

The LEAF Team would like to thank Anne Dolan and all the students for sharing their photos and reflections from their trip to the forest!

Click here to read more student Reflections on Field Trip