By Sarah Davison, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Cover photo: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust are set to run two exciting new projects at 17 schools around Staffordshire thanks to funding bid success.
This Outdoor Classroom Day (Thursday 18 May) the Trust is celebrating news that hundreds more school children will benefit from spending time outdoors and connecting with nature. Children will also enjoy learning new skills and improved wellbeing.
The announcement comes following two successful funding bids, which will allow the Trust to work with more Staffordshire schools in the next year. Funding from The Ironmongers’ Company will assist the Trust to deliver six weekly Forest School sessions at 12 schools in Stoke-on-Trent.
The sessions will enable children to use their creativity and imagination. They will also enjoy being able to choose how they play, having the freedom to discover various activities and explore safely.
Forest School is all about developing children’s learning in an all-inclusive way. They gain teamwork skills and empathy for the world and all its wild inhabitants. Activities may include using tools to make items from wood, building dens from natural materials and outdoor crafts and games.
Thanks to a grant from The Edward Cadbury Trust Wilder Schools will be delivered at five further schools. Two schools in the Staffordshire Moorlands, two in Stoke-on-Trent and one in Cannock. This project will empower children to do things for nature at school, at home and in their future lives.
Aimee Burrows, SWT Wildchild and Engagement Lead, said: “Through the Wilder Schools and Forest School sessions we’ll help teachers and children make outside learning and connecting with nature part of their week.
“We’ll support them as they gain confidence and ideas of ways to improve their school for nature. By the end of the year those involved will be wildlife champions for their school and the wider community.
“Schools often need some initial inspiration to get started. By the end of the projects, these new ways of learning will be well established. This means in years to come many more children will benefit and understand how nature can help us, and the simple ways we can help it too.”
The Trust’s work to help children connect with nature is wide ranging and there’s lots of support on hand for schools. To download a learning brochure, visit: www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/get-involved/teachers-and-educators or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.