VISION FAST

“If we surrendered to Earth’s intelligence, we would rise up rooted like trees" Rilke Throughout human history, our ancestors all over the globe have developed practices to help individuals and communities make sense of life, find meaning and purpose, and navigate key transitional periods such the transition from childhood to becoming adult. These ‘rites of passage’, as they have become known by anthropologists, have almost always involved rituals, ceremonies and connecting deeply with the wild to help find the answers to big questions...

What Is Education For?…

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more 'successful' people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.” - David Orr, 'What is Education For?' (1994) This sentiment speaks to...

Why This Is About So Much More Than Environmentalism

Our relationship with nature is a powerful thing. We are all born formed from the earth. We depend on it throughout our lives - to grow and regrow; to inhale and exhale; and to find shelter, solace and to sustain ourselves. When we finally leave, our bodies return to it. But current educational paradigms do little to nurture or strengthen this fundamental connection. The profound ecological cost of that severance is plain to see - acidifying oceans, biodiversity loss, climate breakdown. Less obvious...

What happens when young people feel safe enough to talk?

Introduction We need to do more to create learning environments where young people and adults feel psychologically safe and prioritise enough time to talk with one another about sensitive topics, such as emotions, relationships, conflict and identity. Doing so has huge benefits to a child’s development, to growing their sense of belonging and nurturing a positive sense of self. If we don’t, we risk our youth growing up in social environments defined by division, feelings of ‘us & them’, guardedness, conflict, dishonesty...

What can schools learn from funerals?

It may seem a strange place to start, but the impact Covid-19 has had on how we manage the passing of our loved ones, highlighting the important role funerals play, offers valuable insights for schools. Learning why we mark big life transitions with rituals and ceremonies helps us consider how best to reintegrate into school life as we emerge from a huge transitional period together.  This inquiry emerged from a recent conversation with one of our mentors and advisors Dr. David Blumenkrantz,...

The Stories We Tell

Words by Sola Adebiyi Stories are a mental, emotional and spiritual communication interface between humans. Stories provide narratives that help us to see ourselves in each other. They help us to find inspiration in the trials and triumphs of others: so too are we able to find compassion in the unresolved trauma, grief, sadness and violence in humanity’s tales. Stories are carriers of our histories and cultures. They generate metaphors that inspire wisdom, compassion, heart strength, warrior courage, will and studious...

A Teacher’s View On Flourishing

Words by Jenna Blencowe, one of our guides. Jenna is a qualified secondary school teacher, an ecotherapist and an outdoors enthusiast. She relishes every opportunity to combine her two passions-  enabling people to flourish and being in nature. This has lead her to work with vulnerable young people on a city farm, run wellbeing in the woods sessions for a mental health charity, and lead groups of young people on personal development hikes across Costa Rica and Iceland with Raleigh International...

The Need for Climate Action in School

As schools respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the focus has, understandably, been drawn to the short term needs and pressures of getting back on our feet. However, we mustn’t forget to zoom out and remind ourselves where the path we are walking on leads. It’s one that takes us towards increased environmental destruction, that culminates in serious risk to our lives, to the lives of communities worldwide and to an increasingly unsustainable future. Before lockdown we had the pleasure of...

Youth want to talk about their grief

This beautiful sentiment is one of many shared by the young people during the wrap-up reflection of our newly launched Grief Advocates Programme, a partnership between Apart of Me & Visionaries. This project is funded by the Co-op Foundation and part of the #iwill Bereavement project. A new peer-to-peer support system to support with adolescent grief, for youth, by youth. “I have really loved this space and I am going to miss it. I have learned that it is okay not to be okay. And that...