Weʼve raised £313 to to support a whole-school outdoors learning programme
- Funded on Friday, 25th March 2022
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Between our team and our lovely tutors, we are aiming to walk, swim, cycle, or move 3,500km between the 3rd January and the 11th March, to raise money for the incredible Christchurch School Community Garden in East Greenwich. The Garden gives local children a space to learn about and engage with nature - more on its work below!
We know how important getting outside is to combatting the January and early year blues, and we’re thrilled to be supporting the Garden to give children this important opportunity to get outside and learn about their environment.
ChristChurch CofE Primary School is a voluntary-aided state school, situated in an urban area in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London. It is surrounded by ever increasing amounts of urban development with significant pressure on public services. The school is very close to large ‘A’ roads and a motorway leading to a huge road tunnel that links north and south London under the Thames: the Blackwall Tunnel.
Air pollution in the area regularly reaches higher levels than the UN maximum limit. Most importantly, as a previously very industrialised area, it has very little green space for children to play. The school’s pupil intake comes mostly from an area with the highest national measure of deprivation. It has a higher-than-average uptake of free school meals.
However, unusually for a school in this area, it does have a green space on site.
The school federation agreed to permit community members in 2017 to transform this unloved space into a productive, flower and biodiversity-rich outdoor garden and Forest School woodland.
The Garden's aim is to strengthen the sense of place and community in East Greenwich, through sharing our passion for growing food, gardening and being outdoors, in nature with the local community.
Why is learning outside in the community garden important?
Some of you, as educators, may have heard of a report produced in 2016 called Transforming Outdoor Learning in Schools. To date, it remains the biggest research project of its kind in England, created over 4 years and involving 125 schools and colleges in South West England. This is what the report says about Outdoor Learning and why it is important:
‘Competing pressures mean that opportunities for children and young people to value and enjoy nature and the environment are under threat. According to the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment Survey, in an average month in 2013-14 only 8% of all children in England (aged 5-16) visited natural environments with their schools.
In their leisure time, the area that children explore and play around their homes has reduced by 90% over the past 20 years. A similar decline in opportunity has been observed in children’s school access to the outdoors from Foundation Stage onwards, and many thousands of children across England have not even been to their local beach, park or woodland.
These trends are undoubtedly contributing to major challenges facing society today, such as the rise in childhood obesity, mental health issues, and the struggle to build a sense of place and community.
Yet evidence shows that giving children the opportunity to discover, learn about and experience the natural world is hugely important – it can help create a sense of belonging rooted in their local environment, enhancing their health, wellbeing and educational outcomes. For example, greater amounts of natural space in or around living or learning environments is associated with higher levels of physical activity, better emotional, behavioural and cognitive outcomes and with children developing a greater sense of connectedness to nature.’
As another national organisation called Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) states:
This is not only about what [children] learn but how and where they learn. It’s about improving young people’s understanding, skills, values, personal and social development and can act as a vehicle to develop young people’s capacity and motivation to learn.
Real-world learning brings the benefits of formal and informal education together: the most meaningful learning occurs through acquiring knowledge and skills through real-life, practical or hands-on activities.
The evidence clearly demonstrates the benefits for young people’s learning and personal development outside the classroom:
• Tackles social mobility, giving children new and exciting experiences that inspire them to reach their true potential
• Addresses educational inequality, re-motivating children who do not thrive in the traditional classroom environment
• Supports improved standards back inside the classroom, raising attainment, reducing truancy and improving discipline
All this evidence is even more important as children struggle out of the pandemic already up to 5 months behind in their learning, not to mention trying to mitigate the social impact of the lockdowns on their personal development.
- 6 months ago
Enjoy Education6 months ago
We've done it! We've walked, ran, cycled, swam, rowed, ski-erged and moved 3,500km as a team, raising money for the wonderful Christchurch School Community Garden!
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Mar 11, 2022
Such a great cause!
Tom Duff Gordon
Mar 11, 2022
Mar 11, 2022
Feb 21, 2022
We’ll done team!
Feb 18, 2022
Great cause, go team Enjoy!
Feb 17, 2022
Feb 16, 2022
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