Learning through Landscapes is delighted to announce the launch of My School, My Planet.
Funded through a Heritage Emergency Fund grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, this £275k pilot project aims to support schools during the COVID-19 crisis by re-engaging pupils with their school environment, supporting their wellbeing and encouraging a greater connection to their natural heritage through the delivery of an outdoor education programme.
“A deeper appreciation of nature is something that has sustained many people during the COVID-19 crisis. This project allows us to test how studying outdoors can help school pupils understand the essential role played by soils, by nature and by our climate in sustaining our planet for the future.”
Drew Bennellick, Head of Land and Nature Policy, National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The project will initially focus on improving the outcomes of children and young people from disadvantaged ethnic groups and low socioeconomic backgrounds who have the least access to their natural environment. Research shows that children from marginalised households are less likely to frequently visit the natural environment (56%) compared to children from non-marginalised households (74%)*. The My School, My Planet pilot will support pupils in exploring key environmental issues: ecosystems – climate change – soil degradation. Pupils will be encouraged to connect their learning with their own cultural heritage through a series of practical activities and a bespoke set of curriculum-linked resources.
For over 30 years LtL has designed and delivered ground-breaking school grounds projects. For the first time My School, My Planet sees the organisation work with two new key partners. The Centre for Education & Youth will be undertaking the project evaluation. This highly-specialist think and action-tank will use their expertise to rigorously assess the project’s impact, while the Louder Than Words cultural agency will embed a truly unique approach to inclusivity and diversity throughout the project.
“Connection to the natural environment has never been more important, as we see children and young people return to education post-lockdown I think we will begin to understand the crucial role school grounds play in education, as a place of inclusivity to learn, play and connect with nature. We are so grateful to the National Lottery for making My School, My Planet possible.”
Carley Sefton, CEO, The Learning through Landscapes Trust.
My School, My Planet will be delivered in pilot schools across the four home nations, engaging with pupils from key stages 2 and 3, upper primary and lower secondary throughout September and October. The delivery team will work with schools using COVID-safe methods to deliver to bubbles of up to 30 pupils per school.
“It makes me want to go into the woods when I’m older, or even now, with my friends or family, and go out camping, and explore the wildlife”.
Polli:Nation Pupil P6
If you are a teacher, head, or member of SLT who works in a primary or secondary school that celebrates its diversity and is passionate about improving the outcomes of disadvantaged pupils or marginalised communities and are interested in being involved in this ground-breaking project, then please contact the MSMP team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment: a pilot to develop an indicator of visits to the natural environment by children (2016), Natural England.