We have seen school grounds being repurposed and transformed into wilder, accessible spaces for new learning experiences whilst our dedicated teachers have been attending training with delivery partners Field Studies Council and YoungMinds to better equip themselves to teach outdoors.
We are now approaching the independent phase of the Nature Friendly Schools project, where our schools will take their learnings, resources and revitalised outdoor space and putting them to use.
As the months get a little cooler and inevitably a little wetter it can be all too tempting to stay indoors, but we are here to say it is as important as ever to get out in the elements. Research tells us that exposure to a cooler climate can not only boost our immune system but can actually help kill off some of those nasty germs that are likely to make us ill during the winter months.
Experiencing nature throughout the seasons nurtures a broader knowledge and deeper connection with nature.
The transition from summer to autumn brings with it a whole host of learning opportunities. Something as simple as observing the same tree all year round, how has it changed? Wildlife spotting, why might there be fewer animals to see during winter? Where are they all? Exploring these benefits with pupils expands the curriculum and provides new ways of bringing learning to life, whilst promoting resilience and wellbeing by immersing pupils in the natural world.
We are whole heartedly behind getting wrapped up warm and getting outside whatever the weather but we know how essential it is to have the right equipment such as wellies, coats and hats. If this equipment is not readily available to all pupils have you considered asking parents to donate outgrown cold weather clothing for outdoor learning purposes? You may well be pleasantly surprised with what is donated.
So whether you are making shapes out of twigs or finding tranquillity on a sensory trail enjoy the winter months, immerse yourselves in nature, it is not outside the classroom… it is the classroom.