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YHA Simon Poote awarded Best LOtC Innovator
    10/12/2015 11:00

Simon Poote awarded Best LOtC Innovator

Simon Poote awarded Best LOtC Innovator

Simon Poote has been awarded the prize for Best LOtC Innovator at a ceremony at Gilwell Park Scout Activity Centre on 26th November. The award recognises his exciting and innovative work in learning outside the classroom (LOtC).

The Awards for Outstanding Contribution to LOtC recognise individuals and teams of people who have made a significant impact on the lives of children and young people through their commitment and dedication to providing inspiring learning outside the classroom opportunities. Learning outside the classroom plays an important role in helping young people to achieve their goals by providing hands-on practical experiences that bring learning to life. Whether it is through fieldwork, school ground activities, educational visits to venues such as museums, galleries or farm activity centres, or cultural expeditions abroad, LOtC can build lasting, positive learning experiences.

Simon was awarded for his creative approach to LOtC at Long Crendon School, using recycled materials and low cost resources to transform the school grounds, and for his emphasis on involving the children at each stage of the development. When asked for his top LOtC tip, Simon said “Look at your provision and try to find a patch of land that you can adopt as your own outdoor learning area. Once you have a patch (big or small) let the children help develop it into a space that is theirs. Give them a sense of ownership by digging and laying underground pipes, creating small mounds and undulations, sowing wildflower seeds, building dens. Ask the school community for old kitchen pots and pans, see if there are any skilled tradesmen that are willing to help build a small kitchen/den. The more you get people involved (especially the children) the more it will develop and evolve.”

Cath Young of YHA, which sponsored the LOtC Innovator award, said: “We particularly love the way Simon has used limited resources and how the site has evolved, making it a wonderful and engaging environment for different stages of development.”

Elaine Skates, Chief Executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom said: “Simon has used his passion, enthusiasm and creativity to create an outstanding learning space. His innovative approach to transforming the grounds at Long Crendon School with limited resources is exemplary and means that more children can experience the world beyond the classroom walls. I would like to congratulate Simon on this well-deserved award.”

Over five thousand votes were received for this year’s awards in the categories of Best LOtC Advocate, Best LOtC Innovator, Best LOtC Inspiring Educator, and Lifetime Achievement in LOtC.

The other award winners were: Ellie Henderson, LOtC Advocate; Nick Hastings, LOtC Educator; and Martin Birse, Lifetime Achievement in LOtC.

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom is a national charity which works with educational establishments and providers of LOtC to ensure more young people access high quality educational experiences. Find out more about the charity’s work and access free online guidance at

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