The Wood Wide Web

Welcome to the OSNW blog. Our repository of tree based resources. Articles, interviews, video and audio. If it’s interesting, exciting, fun, thought provoking or connected with trees and wood, nationally and internationally, we’ll share it with you here.

March 16, 2020

Interview with Ken Monro AKA The Busking Teacher

We talk with Ken about his experience of Old Skills New Ways and why he’s spent the winter on the streets of Totnes.

What was your overall experience of this project?

Extremely positive. The schedule was well organised and included a wide range of activities and skill development that successfully ensured high engagement from the children.

What do you like about the project most?

The opportunity to talk and develop relationships with children in a non-school setting, and the fact that less academically gifted children are able to shine and to value their ability to develop skills they didn't know they had.

How has involvement in the project affected you as a teacher?

In an ideal world, I would teach my class in a forest school setting every day of the week, throughout the year! I am convinced this would not adversely affect learning, but significantly enhance it.

What did you learn through this project?

There are lots of opportunities for assessment. For example, I was interested to find out that specific children had quite a strong existing connection with their environment, for example - being able to name a wide range of tree species.

What was your experience of being in the woods to make?

I loved being outside with my class for a full five days. Seeing children learning in an outdoor environment was a very positive and enjoyable experience.

What was your experience of teaching in nature?

Nature conservation and love of the environment are at the centre of my teaching practice. The beauty of the OSNW setting is that being out surrounded by nature whilst talking about why it is important has much more relevance and impact (than it would in a classroom setting).

What have you learned about yourself?

Perhaps I need a permanent job in environmental education!

What led you to start busking?

When I realised that we needed to fundraise for the last group of students to participate I thought about my skills and the fact that in my youth I’d done some busking so I thought I could get my fiddle out and have a go. The reaction has been brilliant and I’ve raised over £1000 to date.

How can I get involved?

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