FRIDAY, May 18 is Outdoor Classroom Day, and lots of schools across Devon will be taking part.
Outdoor Classroom Day is a global initiative which aims to encourage teachers, parents, guardians and youth groups to get children spending more time learning and playing outdoors.
There is growing evidence that outdoor learning is beneficial – it can support creating a meaningful connection with nature, which in turn helps wellbeing and mental health and improves key developmental skills, such as critical thinking, and emotional and social development.
Globally, 11,962,078 children have taken part in previous Outdoor Classroom Days.
Devon Local Nature Partnership brings organisations together to restore nature and connect people and wildlife.
Outdoor Learning is one of their key priorities and they are asking everyone across Devon to share what they are doing this Outdoor Classroom Day. Inspire others by sharing your stories on social media using @DevonLNP and #OutdoorClassroomDay.
To help schools and community groups to take action for wildlife the Partnership has set up a simple grant scheme. Details on how to apply can be found via the website: www.devonlnp.org.uk under Wild About Devon.
If your school, or a school you know, is already doing great work for the Devon’s natural environment why not nominate them for the Wild About Devon: Wildlife School of the Year Award: https://www.devonlnp.org.uk/get-involved/wild-about-devon/devon-wildlife-community-of-the-year-awards-2021-22/ .
These awards are all about celebrating those communities that are having a real impact on Devon’s wildlife, and your school could be one of them! There are also categories for Community of the Year, Wildlife Parish and Town Council of the Year, and Outstanding Individual Award, so please get nominating!
Devon Local Nature Partnership supports NEED (Network for Environmental Educators in Devon). More information on NEED including lots of links to useful outdoor learning resources is on the Devon Local Nature Partnership website: https://www.devonlnp.org.uk/ .
Jess Carter, Chair of NEED said: “The benefits of outdoor learning are proven and from my own experience working with children in schools the benefits are immediately obvious. As children are released from the classroom, creativity comes to the fore, a few leaves and sticks can become a den or a piece of art or an insect hotel!”
Professor Michael Winter, Chair of the Devon Local Nature Partnership said: “Outdoor Classroom Day is a great way to get kids excited about the opportunities that outdoor learning provides. The Devon Local Nature Partnership wants to help celebrate the great work that schools and youth groups are doing for nature. Please do apply for funding through our grant scheme and I look forward to meeting you at our Community Awards ceremony this autumn.”