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Spotlight – Wildlife Kate

This week in ‘Spotlight’ on Teacher Hug Radio I talk to Kate MacRae or Wildlife Kate as she is better known. 

Kate works at Michael Drayton Junior School in Warwickshire. This year she was shortlisted for the TES Environmental Champion of the Year because of the fantastic work she has done to develop outdoor learning at her school.  She has also supported other schools to see the benefits of outdoor learning and helped them to implement changes within their own schools.  

You can listen to his episode of ‘Spotlight’ on Saturday the 13th of November at 5 p.m. or on Sunday the 14th of November at 1 p.m. on Teacher Hug radio through Alexa the free App or the Teacher Hug website-

Kate has always been wild about natural history because for as long as she can remember it has been part of her life. Even though she grew up in SE London, she was always watching the birds that visited her garden or enjoying the wildlife in Greenwich Park. Her interest continued, through university where she did her teaching degree. She even had bird feeders outside her student digs in the centre of Derby! She spent time outside whenever she could, watching water voles in the local river and photographing in the parks. Her teaching degree, specialising in Environmental Education, gave her, her first chance to share her love of the natural world with young people. She is now in a position where her work involves what she loves; working with wildlife and sharing her passion and enthusiasm with all ages.

​Kate has been a primary teacher for over 30 years and now teaches part-time in a large Nuneaton Junior school, where she is in charge of learning outside of the classroom and the developments of their school grounds. In the years she has worked there, she has transformed the school grounds into spaces for learning and exploring and to enthuse and excite children about the outdoors. From wild spaces to their Alfresco Outdoor classrooms, a Grow Zone and poly-tunnel, keeping animals and use of local woods, her aim is to make outdoor learning an integral part of the curriculum.

She is passionate about enthusing young people about the natural world.  Her other consultancy work is all wildlife-based and takes her to all sorts of wildlife locations. The wildlife in her own garden and at Yew View, a private site she manages for wildlife, is still fundamental to her passions and forms a big part of her work.

She also films lots of wildlife with all different sorts of cameras and this work has led her to be on BBC Springwatch, Autumnwatch, Countryfile, Midlands Today and others.  She hopes that she can use her experience and knowledge to encourage parents and children to engage with the wonderful British wildlife that is right on our doorsteps. From live wildlife cameras, to fun wildlife challenges, she wants to help people discover the joys of our natural world.  

You can listen to my discussions with Kate about how schools can embed outdoor learning within their curriculum on Saturday 13th November at 5pm or Sunday 14th at 1pm.  I hope you enjoy listening to a fantastic line up of great shows on Teacher Hug Radio through Alexa, the Teacher Hug App or the website-   

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The author

Nikki is a Deputy Headteacher in a primary school in Birmingham and the Director of Staffordshire Research School. Her primary school is an English Hub and wrote the Little Wandle Phonics programme. She is Lead DSL and also Art, Music and DT lead. She is an experienced NQT mentor and is a visiting fellow for NPQS and ECF. When Nikki is not working she loves to spend time with her husband, children, friends and family. She is also a governor at her daughter’s primary school. She loves travelling, reading, listening to podcasts, watching Netflix series and swimming.

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