Welcome to Outdoor Matters!
Gail Ryder Richardson
Gail has worked in the Early Years sector for over 30 years and has a Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of Sheffield. She has a professional interest and personal enthusiasm for using the outdoor environment to support children’s learning and development.
Gail has worked in schools and settings and understands the challenges that practitioners in schools and settings have to overcome in order to create an enabling outdoor environment that is used effectively to support children’s learning and development.
During the course of her career Gail has also had a wide range of other professional roles, including advice and support, education inspections and quality assurance.
Gail’s work as a Trainer and Consultant
Since 2011 Gail has worked as an independent trainer and consultant to promote the message that Outdoor Matters! Clients include Local Authorities, early years organisations, schools and settings . She delivers projects and training, speaks at conferences, and provides advice and information to schools and settings. She has collaborated with Nursery World & Play Learning Life to create two Outdoor Play DVD’s, and has worked with the Early Years and Childcare Partnership to create an Outdoor Play Development Wheel -an information tool full of simple ideas for outdoor play at each age and stage of development. In 2014 she published the second edition of her book Creating a Space to Grow.
Gail’s work with Future Creative
From 2013-2014 Gail took a lead role in shaping the early years programme for Future Creative, an organisation committed to developing and delivering creative learning, training, professional development and community engagement programmes that empower children, young people and adults to raise their aspirations and attainment in preparation for learning and life. Gail developed a wide range of courses to be delivered in local authorities across the country by Future Creative’s network of trainer associates. She continues to work in partnership with Future Creative adding value to their early years training programme through delivery of Outdoor Matters courses.
Gail’s work with The National Strategies
From 2008 -2011 Gail worked for The National Strategies to support and challenge Local Authorities across the South East to improve educational outcomes for children under five years old. This role encompassed all aspects of early years practice and Gail worked as the link Early Years Regional Adviser for five Local Authorities; Medway, Portsmouth, Slough, Surrey, and Windsor & Maidenhead.
Gail’s work with Learning through Landscapes
From 2003 -2007 Gail worked for Learning through Landscapes (LTL) an educational charity that promotes the value and importance of the outdoor environment for children’s play, learning and development. Gail wrote a book Creating A Space to Grow that publicised the process and outcomes of an LTL project she delivered in Kent, and included a wealth of information and advice to practitioners wishing to develop their own outdoor space.
In her role with Learning through Landscapes Gail was a member of the partnership of early years organisations and individuals that created the Early Years Vision and Values for Outdoor Play(pdf) She also contributed to the development of the Enabling Environment materials Effective Practice: Outdoor Learning (pdf) within the Early Years Foundation Stage and wrote several articles on outdoor play for Nursery World magazine.
Gail’s Professional Networks
Gail is a member of Learning through Landscapes‘ quality assured and accredited network of grounds professionals.
Gail is also a member of the Linden Learning Network, a group of highly experienced and respected education professionals. The Linden Learning Network is a not-for-profit organisation of like minded consultants who wish to retain their independence whilst working together to ensure continued professional excellence and in-depth understanding of the children’s services market. For more information visit www.lindenlearning.org