Wildlife trust's bid to get pupils back to nature

By Antony Clay | 30/03/2017

Wildlife trust's bid to get pupils back to nature
Chris Smith, of the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.

A NATURE conservation group has launched a scheme to get school pupils out of the classroom and into the great outdoors.

The Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has launched a project to offer a range of outdoor learning opportunities to primary and secondary schools across the county.

Funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery has meant that activities ranging from taster workshops to Wild PE lessons can be provided.

Organisers said it will boost children’s education by giving them hands-on experience of the wild world.

The opportunities on offer include 25 free Introduction to Outdoor Learning workshops aimed at primary school teachers and pupils, an eight-week Transition Forest School to give 15 Year 6 pupils with additional pastoral needs a chance to bond in the run-up to secondary school, a Wild PE travel bursary to support one primary school (Key Stage 2) and one secondary school class to take on a challenge at the Trust’s Greno Woods obstacle course near Sheffield, and 20 subsidised places on its Forest School Level One course to help teachers become confident outdoor learning practitioners.

There is also a travel bursary fund to help primary and secondary schools access outdoor learning opportunities.

Schools are also being invited to take part in the Trust’s new outdoor learning network for educators which aims to inspire teachers to take learning outside by providing them with expert advice and resources.

Chris Smith, the Trust’s outdoor learning team lead, welcomed the funding and said the money would be put to good use.

He said: “Teachers often ask for our help to get pupils learning outside the classroom, so we are delighted to have secured this valuable funding.

“We can’t wait to help even more children in South Yorkshire start their own exciting journeys into the great outdoors. 

“We know that more than 90 per cent of teachers believe that outdoor learning improves pupils’ engagement with learning, and we hope this funding will help schools see first hand the power of the outdoor classroom.”

Further information is available by visiting wildsheffield.com/outdoorlearningopportunities or calling the outdoor learning team on 0114 263 4335 or emailing schools@wildsheffield.com.

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