European Delegates Visits Glen Outdoor Early Learning School

We hosted a European delegation last week at Glen Outdoor School. The study visit took place as part of the Assembly of the European Regions (AER) conference, which saw up to 100 delegates from all over Europe visit Letterkenny over a three day period. Glen Outdoor was selected because we are Ireland’s first outdoor school and the purpose of the visit was to showcase the importance of fostering independence in children from an early age.


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Sally and the Glen Outdoor team welcomed the delegation and talked to them about our school’s ethos and philosophy. We explained the importance of outdoor play in childhood and the key developmental role it plays in helping children learn risk mastery. We also referenced the importance of the three T’s, ‘Things Take Time’ and explained how, in today’s world, children are often not given the time they need to learn and grow.

The group toured the outdoor setting, including a visit to the school’s pond, vegetable patch and poly tunnel. Children proudly showcased a huge pumpkin that they had grown themselves and were preparing to carve for Hallowe’en.


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Delegates also sampled some blackberry jam which the children made from berries they picked earlier in the year. The visitors were very impressed by the school, which is located in Barrack, Glenswilly, just four miles from Letterkenny. They really got into the outdoor spirit and a few of them wondered if there was a facility like this available for adults!




Hosted by Donegal County Council, the AER conference focused on E-health, Independence and Inclusion in the 21st Century. The conference was the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe and the delegation was comprised of policy and decisions makers from across Europe including Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium and the UK. We want to thank Donegal County Council and all the delegates for taking the time to visit our school.


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C’mon Donegal!

All-Ireland fever has well and truly landed in Donegal. The staff and children in each of our three Early Learning Schools wish the Donegal Senior and Minor teams all the best in their games against Kerry. We had great fun earlier today dressing up as our Donegal GAA heroes and here are some pictures…


McGuinness and Murphy Rally the troops at The Glen Outdoor School in Glenswilly


Children at the Glen Outdoor School in Glenswilly adopt a blanket defense against Kerry


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Ireland’s First Outdoor School

As Ireland’s first outdoor school, we’re delighted to see so many other creches following our lead and developing their own outdoor facilities for children. Kids need to be active and leading experts recommend they get at least three hours active outdoor play every day.


According to this article in Early Childhood Ireland evidence of a long-term and dramatic decline in children’s relationship with the outdoors is ‘overwhelming’ and urgent action is needed to bridge this growing gap before it’s too late.


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Now that we’re up and running with our blog, we wanted to share a piece  that Sheila Wayman wrote about our school  in November 2012 in this Irish Times Article

First published:Tue, Nov 27, 2012, 00:00