Virtual Nature School – Inquiry-based Learning in Nature

Cath Johnstone from Tomnacross ELC in Kiltarlity shares her experinece of taking part in Virtual Nature School last session.

We have just moved into a new setting with a fantastic outdoor space and our intention was to spend 90% of our day in it. All staff wanted to encourage children to engage with nature , scaffold their learning, and we discussed how as a team we could record the children’s voice to include their interests and learning. This course had just become available so I signed up for it and shared with the team.

The course was run by Dr Claire Warden (Mind Stretchers) and funded by the Scottish Government. As Lead Practitioner for the course, I shared with all staff what was required, how we were going to carry this out and how we would present the evidence in Floor Book form. We used the Floor Book, Planning in the Moment, and all guidance from this course as a self-evaluation tool on how to further develop using the children’s voice in planning and the staff’s nature pedagogy.

Children and their families now look at the floor books showing their children’s voice and learning. The children have become more interested in the world around them and are more confident in sharing their knowledge with adults and their peers. Parents/families have been asking to look at floor books, and extending their learning at home and sharing this through photos and information.

Click here to watch a short clip about the project.

For more information please contact Cath Johnstone, Tomnacross ELC , Kiltarlity at