Nature Friendly Schools gives children from some of the poorest communities in the country opportunities to learn outside the classroom, while supporting their well-being, mental health, and engagement with school.
Imagine maths next to a wildlife pond in the inner city, English under the shade of an ancient oak, or science classes through real life experiences in the natural world...
The project enters a new phase at a critical time, after a year when children have been isolated from the natural world, learnt behind screens, and suffered a substantial rise in mental health issues.[i] Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are known to have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, especially in terms of access to green space.[ii]
Nature Friendly Schools gives those pupils a lifeline to spend some of their day learning outdoors, encouraging motivation, confidence, and creativity.
Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says:
“Learning in nature boosts children’s well-being, confidence, and behaviour, and should be a fundamental part of a child’s experience in education. We’re delighted at the success of the project so far.
“We know that children in deprived areas are much less likely to have contact with nature while the pandemic also increased screen-based learning. The new phase of Nature Friendly Schools is more important than ever for them.
“In spite of its proven success, the Nature Friendly Schools initiative is not guaranteed to see out its final year. We believe the need for this project has never been greater and it is vital it continues so we can give more children opportunities to learn, play and get creative in wild, green spaces.”