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IOL National Conference

14th - 15th October 2016 at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, Staffordshire

(in conjunction with the AHOEC Annual Conference)

Thursday 13th October

Friday 14th October

Saturday 15th October
  • AHOEC Conference


  • Keynote Speaker: 'What is Outdoor Learning For?'
  • IOL Presentations
  • Masterclasses
  • IOL Special Interest Group Meetings

  • The NEW IOL 7 Steps to CPD Guide
  • Workshops - indoor and outdoor
  • IOL Professional Group Meetings
  • Meet the IOL Team

Full details of Keynotes, Masterclasses and Workshops HERE....

Aims of the conference

The conference explored the role of outdoor learning in tackling global, local, inter-personal and intra-personal development needs. Reflecting our sector’s increasingly integrated approach to development there was a chance to consider your practice in the light of age-related issues, health & wellbeing issues, economic & environmental sustainability and education beyond the school gate.

Hashtag it! #IOLConf16

More about the IOL Conference theme


Conference 2012 Keynotes
Keynote Speakers: Dr Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk.

    With the Olympics upon us, is there anything Outdoor Learning can take from the world of sport?

    How a pupil or employee or colleague responds to stressors can make a big difference to their ability to learn, collaborate or be creative or productive. The outdoor learning community is well placed to support a wide population of businesses, schools and colleges.

    IOL’s national conference on 12 & 13th October will provide presentation and debate on lessons to be drawn from the sports world’s work on the measurement and development of mental toughness. This a good opportunity to consider questions such as:

    • How do outdoor learning practitioners explore the issues of challenge and response to stressors?
    • Are we too passive in considering resilience?
    • Are we clear about the implications of using ‘challenge by choice for outdoor learning in adventurous environments?
    • How do we help those we work with develop their awareness of their own resilience and mental toughness and the ways in which that may be developed?

    Dr Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk will speak on Friday 12th explaining the research and development that has led to the use of a model of mental toughness in sport, education and the business world. The conference will be asked to consider the lessons that may be drawn for the outdoor learning community from this journey.

    Dr Peter Clough is a leading authority on the application of Mental Toughness across a wide spectrum of sectors and countries. Peter has taken a concept developed and used in sports and made it accessible to all. He is an academic based at Hull University, has published widely and has many international speaking engagements.

    Doug Strycharczyk has worked with Peter since the mid-90s and has played a key role in developing a model to measure and raise awareness of mental toughness. Doug has been central to the wider use of the MTQ48 measure, a tool to measure mental toughness, including the education and youth work sectors. He is currently working with a small number of IOL senior practitioners and is the MD of AQR, a UK based enterprise developing and distributing academically tested tools to support the development of young people.