Content and timeline of course

This course is designed to create a holistic education for all participants. We understand that every student is unique with their own strengths and weaknesses. Our course is designed to give every student the opportunity to unlock hidden potentials within themselves, develop their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses. 

We aim to change the location of the teaching as often as possible to enrich the student’s education with as many new experiences as possible.

Community building

It is important to build trust, support and a participatory culture right from the beginning of the course.

Expectations should be set from the beginning, created by the participants in collaboration with the facilitator/teacher.

A culture of cooperation should be nurtured rather than one of competition.

Mistakes should be accepted for what they are and left behind as new solutions / approaches are sought.

Deep listening should be practised from an early stage, every voice has equal importance/inherent value.

Different perspectives should be appreciated as all pointing towards to the truth from different directions.

The fruit of the community will be the participants, in them are contained the seeds of the future.

Routine, rhythm and celebration should all be factored into the course to create a safe environment for learning, to manage the energy levels of the group and release any tensions that have not been resolved.

Edutopia - community building
Forest School - learning in/from nature

This will be integrated into the course. One morning or afternoon a week. Keep it flexible according to weather although come rain or shine forest school is possible – different weather means different learning.

1. Tying ropes using different knots for different situations

2. Building shelters using rope and canvas

3. Building fire and cooking / boiling water

4. Using tools safely (e.g. saw, billhook, knife, loppers)

5. Making pegs and mallets from wood in the forest

6. Basics of first aid

7. Knowing different species of plant and what their uses are (e.g. medicine, cuts, fire, rope etc)

8. Connecting with nature and connecting to self (seeing signs in nature, getting insight from nature)

9. Expressing emotions through natural art

10. Developing compassion through building homes for insects

11. Learning teamwork and communication skills

12. Conservation techniques, collecting and cataloguing plants

Agroforestry - Natural Farming - Forest Garden

1. Designing the farm (water storage/harvesting, energy (solar cells, windmills?), permaculture design (zones 1-5), map the terrain (lay of the land), map the rising and setting sun in summer and winter, find out average rainfall, wind direction, altitude, longitude, height above sea level, local watershed.

2. Learn how to compost, important in the UK with temperate climate to speed up decomposition of organic matter by microbes.

3. Make biochar – add to soil as improver and for the long term health of trees.

4. Make beneficial microbes from soil, organic matter, urine, cow/horse dung, medicinal/beneficial plants

5. Plant orchard (fruit/nut/berries) – forest garden. To teach philosophy, systems thinking, sustainable agriculture. Give students a longer term perspective. Think about doing actions for the benefits of others, not only to indulge self interests. Enjoy the process. Understand that the process is the most important outcome of any endeavour, not necessarily the outcome itself.

Reconciling productivity with protection of the environment: Is temperate agroforestry the answer?
Science of the mind / meditation / mindfullness and IFS

1. Breathing, walking, sitting, standing, chakra, autogenic, dancing meditation

2. Mindfullness while sweeping/cleaning/working – daily life

3. Meditation to understand impermanence of feeling, thinking, memories, body sensation

4. Meditation to understand arising and cessation of suffering

5. Diagram to understand Paticasamapattha

6. Diagram to understand transforming seeds of anger (etc) into seeds of consciousness

7. Meditation for concentration and meditation for wisdom

8. Understand not to take things personally, let go of attachments

Internal Family Systems (IFS)

1. Understand default modes of behaviour and being in flow.

2. Understand trauma and how it can affect your personality and create default modes of behaviour. Think how this might apply to societies and cultures as a whole.

3. Appreciate that there are different parts of your personality, each have different functions and duties.

4.True self, exiles, vulnerable child, protectors, firefighters.

Non-Violent Communication

1. Behaviours are the tip of the iceberg. What is beneath the surface? Find the thinking, feeling and judgements that cause the behaviour to find your / their underlying needs and values. 

2. Make requests based on how you can get your needs / values met. 

3. Make requests based on how to get the other person’s needs / values met.

4. Hold your needs / values and the needs / values of the other person in your hands during meditation, feel if one is heavier than the other, meditate until they are in balance, bring them into your heart. Send loving kindness and compassion to yourself and the other person. Find a win-win solution that meets both your needs/values and their needs/values.

5. Everyone’s needs can’t always be met. In these situations one party may need to mourn their unmet needs. Important process. Do this during meditation, use equanimity, impermanence and metta.

6. All conflict offer opportunities for transformation.

Community hands-on work

Any hands-on work to benefit the school community. We will work closely with the maintenance team to identify key jobs that need addressing and that our team can realistically help with.

Integrated into the curriculum throughout the course.

Offers a chance for students to practice mindfulness in daily life. They will learn/experience the importance of being fully present with whatever they are doing.

The students get a chance to serve their community and experience selfless service.

Builds community, teamwork, belonging, communication skills, working with adults, professional attitudes.

Science Practicals

Experiential learning

Critical thinking

Analysing data

Observation skills

Scientific method – controls, fair test, variables etc (apply to farming techniques)

How use scientific experiments to learn about the world

Energy (solar, wind and others)

1. How to build solar energy systems.

2. How to build wind energy systems.

3. Benefits and drawbacks of different energy systems

Natural Building and Passive Building Design

1. Using mud / straw and other natural materials for constructing buildings and communal spaces.

2. How to design buildings that utilise ‘free energy sources’ in nature to reduce costs and cut carbon emissions.

Eco-village experience

UK, France, Europe

Volunteer at an eco-village for minimum 1 week:

Learn whatever their community members have to offer or need help with.

Possibly combine with some courses they are offering.

Gardening, farming, straw bale building (natural build), make jam and teas from wild herbs, soap making, dying clothes, compost making, tree surgery, DIY, plumbing, electrics, cleaning up after yourself, sweeping, cooking, social aspects of community living, nature watching.

Sustainable Development Goals

Education about the SDGs.


A system of governance using consent decision making and an organizational structure based on cybernetic principles (a system with closed feedback mechanisms).

Community Project

Focusing on the needs of community.

1. Participatory

2. Share power / leadership

3. Participant led research of problems, actions 

4.  coordinate with local council

Food growing at home

After training in school how to grow their own food, students start growing projects in their home gardens / yards / community spaces.

Create food enterprises.

Living with refugees

Students learn empathy, deep listening, compassion, community organising, different cultures, life of people in different situation to themselves.

Slow Small Simple

Professor Keibo Oiwa

Deep Ecology

Arne Naess and George Sessions devised the deep ecology platform, also known as the eight points of the deep ecology movement. They constitute Level 2 of the apron or pyramid, and are meant to act as a sort of filter for the deep questioning process.

Deep ecology worldview is defined as a worldview that sees humans are just one species and all forms of life have intrinsic value and the right to exist. The Deep Ecology worldview sees humans as being on an equal level with other species, as opposed to being superior to them.


1. Research sacred sites around the UK and choose your favourite to conduct a pilgrimage to.

2. Present to the group why you think your site would be a good choice for everyone.

3. Group decides on a sacred site using Sociocracy / Participatory Democracy.

4.  Whole group conduct pilgrimage to sacred site.

(no phones,  money, can only accept food offered to them)

Vision Quest

1. Watch documentary about the Hero’s Journey

2. Nature walks to find object symbolising your quest

3. Understand 4 archetypes of personality (Fire, Water, Wind, Earth)

4.  Medicine Wheel: understand stage of life, where they are at before vision quest

North – white – Winter

East – yellow – Spring

South – red – Summer

West – black – Autumn

5. buddy rock system

6. create threshold for departure by all collecting 4-5 rocks: leave one thing behind

7. Ideas for vision quest – make object into person, meditation, nature walks, observing nature, write Haiku

Summary: Nurture Nature - Environmental Sustainability in Students, Schools and Society


Class of between 10-30. In a school of approximately 1000. Teach a course in Environmental Sustainability. Connected to the parents / community. Get students to implement what they learn at home for practice and to educate parents also.

1080 guided teaching hours per year. This is the maximum expected time to complete which includes all directed study (e.g. classroom, homework, preparation and activity work).

18 units needed for level 3 accreditation.


January – July: get student perspective, pilot lesson ideas, teaching style, integration with school culture/curriculum/timetable/expectations. Present to other secondary schools to connect with prospective students who will start the course in September 2017.

Get funding from sponsors (possible?). So have a budget for trips/expeditions etc. See how much budget is from school.

September 2017 – July 2018: first cohort.


Corelli Academy: local government school, near old forest and large playing fields. Already have organic farm and beekeeping. Artistic head open to new paradigm thinking.

Krishnamurthi – Brockwood Park: Founded on spiritual values. Meditation and lessons from Krishnamurthi teaching already part of the curriculum. Organic farm, natural woodlands, in the countryside. Already very progressive. Project based learning.

Eton college: One of the best schools in the country, internationally recognised, fantastic resources, grounds, high level of student ability. Other schools will follow if course taught at Eton.


School, grounds, forest, land for farm, money for expeditions, science lab and technician, teaching assistant, stationary (poster paper, pens, glue, etc), network with other schools and parents to get students, people, internet for information.

Theories: general

Maria Montessori, Forest school, Friedrich Fröbel, McMillan sisters, Paulo Freire, A.S. Neill (democratic schools), E.F. Schumacher (small is beautiful), Slow small simple (Keibo Oiwa), Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leo Tolstoy, Rudolf Steiner, Reggio Emilia, Kurt Hahn, Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Main modules from the course that I will use:

Slow small simple (Keibo Oiwa)

Deep Ecology

Community Building (Module 1)

Community organising (Module 5)

IFS, NVC and Process Work

Meditation (Module 2)

Vision Quest (Module 9)


Teaching, being in nature, sense of community

Connecting with nature, people, self

Unlocking self and others


In society, family, within us.

Review internally what’s happening, as well as in school/community/society. Maintain balance between all.

Meet/face the challenge.


1. letter to head or Corelli college.

2. application to Krishnamurthi (Brockwood Park)

3. book onto froebel course, agroforestry (and montessori?)

4. e-mail Nial – TeachFirst leadership training

5. e-mail academics for Masters project

6. e-mail Sam – how approach Simon Henderson (Eton)

Essence: of project

connection to nature and connection to self

self transformation

empowerment of self and community


Schumacher College: Course book and references

Recommended texts and sources


• Hosking, R. 2009. Farm For a Future. [Online]:

• Kloot, B. Thomas, P. 2011. Soil Stories. [Online]:

Books and articles

• Altieri, M. 1999. The Ecological Role of Biodiversity in Agroecosystems.Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 23. 19-31. [Online]:

• Davies, G. and Lennartsson, M. 2006. Organic Vegetable Production: a CompleteGuide. Crowood Press, Ltd.

• Gliessman, SR. 2006. Agroecology: the Ecology of Sustainable Food Systems.CRC Press.

• Ingram, DS. Vince-Prue, D. Gregory, PJ. 2008. Science and the Garden. BlackwellPublishing. (Chapters 1 – 8, 13).

• Lammerts Van Beuren, ET et al. 2011. The Need to Breed Crop Varieties Suitable forOrganic Farming, Using Wheat, Tomato and Broccoli as Examples: a Review. 58(3-4). [Online]:

• Ostergard, H. et al. 2009. Time for a Shift in Crop Production: EmbracingComplexity Through Diversity at All Levels. [Online]:

• Smith, J. 2010. Agroforestry: Reconciling Production with Protection of theEnvironment. A Synopsis of Research Literature. [online]

• Smith, JP. and Wolfe, BD. M.S. 2012. Reconciling Productivity with Protection ofthe Environment: Is Temperate Agroforestry the Answer? 

Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems: 28(1);80-92. [Online]:

• White, RE. 2006. Principles and Practice of Soil Science: The Soil as a NaturalResource. Blackwell Publishing. (Chapters 1 – 3, 7, 10).

In addition, students will be expect to refer to a range of relevant journals, such asAgroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Agronomy for Sustainable Development, Agroforestry Systems, Journal of Agroecologyand Sustainable Food Systems and Journal of Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.