The Nature Friendly Schools project will:
- Develop teachers’ confidence to embrace and deliver outdoor learning
- Help to improve mental health and wellbeing in pupils
- Encourage better engagement with school among pupils
- Create an increased care and concern for the environment
How will we do this?
An Education Officer will work with schools to provide training and practical support for staff. They will provide ideas for curriculum-linked lessons, activities and games, as well as advice on how to overcome the challenges of teaching outdoors. They will work with teaching staff to review the effectiveness of training and interventions and identify opportunities for further outdoor learning.
Project partners will highlight low maintenance opportunities to 'green' school grounds, creating outdoor spaces with features such as wildflower patches, sensory gardens, and container beds/ponds to enable effective and creative outdoor learning to take place. These will be designed in collaboration with staff and pupils and will allow pupils to experience nature close-up - from beautiful butterflies to mini-beasts, and maybe even an encounter with a frog!
Opportunities will be identified for pupils to take part in out of school activities to improve the range of green spaces they can access, increasing the topics that can be taught outdoors. Learning opportunities that are not possible on school grounds - such as residential visits, will be explored.
It does not finish when the project comes to an end. We will help schools to identify opportunities within the school year and within teaching topics for future and ongoing outdoor learning opportunities. This will ensure schools can sustain and develop their outdoor learning provision beyond the duration of the Nature Friendly Schools project.
We will signpost you to further training, support and funding to further develop outdoor learning opportunities and provide access to an online virtual learning platform hosting a range of resources to build skills and confidence in teachers to continue to deliver quality outdoor learning. There may also be the opportunity to join up with other schools in your area to share best practice.
Is your school eligible?
Nature Friendly Schools will be working with schools in some of the most deprived areas in England. Although we are initially focusing on certain geographical areas, we will be rolling the project out further afield in other areas across England in the project’s second and third years, so if your school is not eligible right now due to its location, it could be in the future. You can register your interest now!
Your online journey
The Nature Friendly Schools network will grow exponentially as more schools engage with the project. This will allow for increased cross-organisational sharing of best practice, guidance, tips and support and provide a platform to monitor and track progression through tailored sessions, webinars and e-learning as part of our unique Online Community.
We have a range of free online resources which anyone can access, so that all schools can benefit - not just the ones directly participating in the project. We hope you enjoy your outdoor learning journey. For more information about the project you can contact the Nature Friendly Schools team.