Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth.
Studies have shown that access to trees can have powerful healing properties for children and can even increase mental concentration.
Growing Among Trees was funded by Defra and the Department for Education to support children's health and wellbeing through nature connection. Led by tree planting charity, Trees for Cities, Nature Nurture was selected to deliver the project in Reading primary schools.
The project focused on reaching children living in areas of deprivation, aiming to benefit their mental health and wellbeing as well as inspire increased engagement with learning, to boost attendance and to encourage pro-environmental behaviour. Through the project, we were able to place the teachers and children at the heart of the design process, responding to their needs and helping them overcome their challenges. This developed into our Wild Teaching programme.
The project was independently evaluated by Dr. William Bird's company, Intelligent Health Ltd, to explore which types of interventions worked best in specific communities and geographic areas and to find out just what it takes to tarnsform an urban school into a setting that harnesses the potential of the nature to enrich eduication and support wellbeing.
We devised and delivered the Wild Teaching programme at three Reading-based schools; Ranikhet Academy, Palmer Academy and Whitley Park Infants and Junior School, exploring how to embed low cost, high impact outdoor learning into daily teaching. In common with all schools was the desire to link with the science curriculum and of course exploring the natural world was perfect for this. We found that empowering teachers to use their own school grounds, led to them venturing further afield, discovering walkable woodlands only a few minutes away from their classrooms.
Through insights gained through the delivery phase of training, workshops and assemblies we have been able to develop the Wild Teaching Toolkit, to enable schools across the country to benefit from the programme.
We anticipate high levels of interest, as schools adapt to COVID-19 and look to make the most of outdoor learning.
The Wild Teaching pack explores the evidence around benefits for children of nature-based learning, how to overcome the barriers and Key Stage 1 session plans.
There are plenty of core subject links to Science, Maths and Literacy for teachers, and information about how experience through nature supports children’s mental health and wellbeing.
You can download the Wild Teaching Toolkit for free here.
About Wild Teaching
Nature Nurture works with early years settings and primary schools to transform their school culture and take play and learning outside the classroom, helping to enrich the curriculum as well as the health and wellbeing of children and staff. Inspirational, fantastic outdoor learning spaces are closer than we think.
Whether it’s an overgrown school garden or nearby urban green space, we help unleash play and learning in unexpected areas, through a whole school approach. We work with schools to explore their priorities and bespoke programmes..
Read the Project Report here.
Trees for Cities is they are the only UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in cities.
“We get stuck in with local communities to cultivate lasting change in their neighbourhoods – whether it’s revitalising forgotten spaces, creating healthier environments or getting people excited about growing, foraging and eating healthy food.”