I am grateful to hold the position of EYFS and Y1 Ecoliteracy teacher at The Arbor School Dubai. The Arbor School is a unique setting which aims to reconnect our community to the natural world and inspire action to conserve it. Through my role, I inspire child-initiated, place-based, inquiry-led learning opportunities in nature. My ultimate aim is for children to be curious. To stop and smell every flower, listen to every bird and overturn every rock, because when there is curiosity, there is care. My deep rooted connection with nature began in the rockpools of Cornwall and forests in Surrey, England. After moving to Dubai, I noticed a disconnect between childhood and nature. I chose to utilise my passion for the outdoors in my teaching and become a forest school practitioner. I have volunteered in various forest schools in Denmark and hope to visit desert schools in Egypt and forest schools in the US in attempt to continue deliver the gifts of forest school here in the UAE. There is nature all around us, we just need to open our eyes (and hearts) to see it.
17 November 2022 | 10:30 - 11:10 | English | Connecting UAE Schools and Early Childhood Centres to Nature: A Discussion
I would like to propose leading a panel discussion with educators from diverse settings which addresses the following questions:
- Introduction: an overview of how you are currently facilitating a connection to nature in your setting.
- What predictions do you have for COP28? How will this impact education?
- How has you setting overcome challenges to connecting your students to nature? What advice could you give to others?
- What strategies have you seen in other countries? How could the UAE continue to innovate in this area?