Rachel Bennington has joined us as our Education Officer - helping High Weald Heroes schools integrate what's special about their local area and the outdoors into the curriculum. So who is she?
Q. Where were you working before you came to the High Weald AONB Partnership ?
A. I have been working with the Ashdown Forest Centre teaching primary school pupils all about the geology, history, management and wildlife of that very special place in the High Weald.
Q. What else have you been doing?
A. Running my own environmental education business delivering forest school, community projects and teacher training.
Q. How do you approach teaching?
A. I love teaching in a creative way and getting children to have hands-on experiences. Working as a forest school practitioner has given me lots of great ideas for outdoor sessions. I am a storyteller too; using stories in my sessions and working on creating narratives.
Q What's so great about working in the High Weald?
A. I first encountered the amazing sandstone rocks at Harrisons taking children rock scrambling and climbing. I was astonished - they seemed to come out of nowhere. The High Weald landscape is so rich and embedded with history it's fascinating.
Q What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
A. High Weald Heroes is a fantastic programme and I want to keep up the good work and continue to develop it. I'm always keen to get children outdoors so encouraging schools to use their Welly Walks is a big priority. I'd also like to help teachers make links between what's special about their local area and the new curriculum with a special focus on new subjects such as the Stone Age and Rocks and soils. I am open to giving schools all the help I can so please do get in touch.