School trials a new woodland learning scheme

Date Posted: 10/03/2015

The Woodland Trust has launched its Schools into Woods project and Outwoods Edge Primary School was the first school to take part in the scheme.

As part of the project, the trust will offer tailored practical help and advice to schools so that they can begin to use local woodland as a free resource to teach the curriculum.

Over the next two years, it aims to help 40 Primary schools across the UK make the most of their local woodland.

Education research by King’s College London found children who spend time learning in natural environments "perform better in reading, mathematics, science and social studies" and that exploring the natural world "makes other school subjects rich and relevant and gets apathetic students excited about learning".

Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust chief executive said: “Teaching in woods is free, it fits in with the National Curriculum, and no extra training is needed.

“It provides a really inspiring setting for learning, and not only will this encourage children to better understand and appreciate the natural environment, it will help them develop practical and social skills that will nurture self-esteem and confidence.

“Our aim is to help schools identify and overcome any barriers preventing them from accessing local woodland.

“By working closely with teachers to assess their needs and concerns, we will put together a tailored programme for each school and hopefully soon we’ll see many more schools getting the most out of the woods on their doorstep.”

Mark Maksymiw, head teacher at Outwoods Edge Primary School, commented: “Using our local wood to bring the Curriculum to life for our children is something we as a school feel is really important.”

The Woodland Trust’s schools and learning programme has been a respected and valued asset for teachers, community leaders and parents since 2002 and the charity has engaged with a total of 21,000 schools over the last ten years.

To find out more about Schools Into Woods visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/schools.

Pictured: Woodland Trust CEO Beccy Speight and Nicky Morgan MP with children from Outwoods Edge Primary School, Loughborough (Photo credit: Woodland Trust).

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