“…the emerging discipline of biomimicry puts what zoologists and biologists know about natural systems together with the problems engineers and architects are trying to solve, in order to produce technology that mimics how Nature operates.”
Friday 6th July 2012 marks the Empty Classroom Day, a day where pupils will head outside to learn, and we would like you to join us! This exciting initiative seeks to uniquely tackle recent concerns, from both the National Trust and Natural England, that children are suffering from ‘nature deficit disorder’ and that there is an ‘extinction of experience’ when engaging with the natural environment.
The Empty Classroom Day is happening right across the UK, but was created by a collection of organisations who met at the London Sustainable Schools Forum (LSSF), all supporting learning outside the classroom, school grounds and growing. The day was developed to help schools benefit from outdoor learning and share their best practice with other schools.
Schools are signing up to support outdoor learning and to show that one class will be learning outside for one lesson on Friday 6th July. Pupils will be:
- Doing their maths lesson in the playground
- Making art on city farms
- Doing bug hunts at nature reserves
- Running races for school sports days
- Bird watching in their playgrounds
- Writing stories in the local park
- Following maps in Zoos
- Weeding in the school vegetable patch.
What are the benefits?
Learning outside the classroom can be fun, memorable and healthy. Everyone benefits from learning outside:
- Young people will get the chance to learn in new, more relevant and exciting ways – in particular these can benefit those who find classroom learning difficult
- Teachers will be able to broaden and deepen their teaching skills and subject knowledge while working with more motivated pupils
- The school can use these new approaches to raise achievement
- The wider community can benefit through involvement in, for example, developing school gardens of all kinds, leading to a wider understanding of issues such as healthy eating, sustainability and caring for the environment.
How does my school join?
Schools can sign up to the event by following this link:
For those schools that have signed up there are special offers for visits, tours, treasure hunts and lots of activity packs with ideas for what your class can do in your school playground.
We hope you and your school can join us on this fantastic initiative and that we can take learning outdoors together!
– By Sarah Simmons, NAEE Member
NAEE will soon be launching an exciting new fund to enable schools to visit outdoor environmental education centres (initially Birmingham only). Watch this space!
OPAL South West is running a competition to find photos that capture the diverse range of wildlife and nature in Plymouth.
The competition is open to all ages, and we particularly encourage beginners and young photographers to enter.
There are four competition categories and three age groups – Under 14s, 14-18, and over 18s. There will be a winner (and a highly commended photo) for each age group in each category.
Link : https://twitter.com/#!/nhm_london and https://twitter.com/#!/opalnature