Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce that it will be unveiling its new outdoor learning resource pack, ‘Wild About Learning’, at a special training day, which will take place on Thursday 25th May at the University of Leicester Botanic Gardens. The training day, ‘Using Outdoor Learning in Primary English, Maths and Science’, has been organised by the Environment Team at Leicester City Council and will also feature workshops from the Earthwatch Institute and STEM Polar Explorers.
The numeracy and literacy resource pack will be available to download, free of charge, via the Trust’s Wild Forest School website and has been developed to help inspire teachers from Leicester city primary schools to take their lessons outside. This follows results of a recent online survey that was commissioned by the Trust’s Wild Forest School project, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The survey found that despite 17% of schools only having access to concrete play areas, 92% of schools that participated in the survey considered it “very important” for children to have opportunities for outdoor learning in the school day. However, the survey also revealed that children tend to spend less time learning outdoors as they get older – in 40% of schools, children in Foundation Stage had 2 or more hours a week of numeracy lessons outdoors. By the time they reach junior age, this is only happening in 13% of schools. It is hoped the new resource pack will help to extend the outdoor learning opportunities children get in Foundation Stage to the rest of their primary education.
Simon Bentley, director of the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust, said: “Learning outside of the traditional walls of a classroom can be the most memorable moments of a child’s education, and it offers real and measurable benefits to both teachers and children. With limited access to wildlife facilities in our city centre schools, we are delighted to have developed a resource to help encourage teachers to take their lessons outside and make nature a part of growing up.
“The resource pack, which consists of two hour numeracy and literacy lesson plans for each key stage one and key stage two year groups, has been designed to support and encourage teachers to take their lessons outside. Not only will it help develop a child’s understanding of nature, but it helps teachers interact and build better relationships with their pupils.”