The My School, My Planet pilot programme supported children from disadvantaged ethnic groups and low-income families to re-engage with learning as pupils transitioned into the new academic year following the first Covid-19 related lockdown.  Participating pupils were offered academic learning focused on three core subjects as a way of engaging them with their outdoor environment and supporting their wellbeing, while encouraging a greater connection to their natural heritage.

The ground-breaking outdoor education programme was delivered in 49 schools providing over 700 hours of support to 1029 children across the UK during their return to school following the first lockdown.

The programme was funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Ros Kerlake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund said:

“We chose to support this innovative and inspiring project because of the way it uses the outdoors to engage pupils with nature and climate change in a very real way. Outdoor learning is a brilliant way to help children get back in to an educational setting after so much time away from the classroom and staring at screens. It is critical that all children are taught the value of nature all around us and understand the impact of climate change so that all have a say in the future our of planet.”

A unique approach to inclusivity and diversity

To fully support marginalised and disadvantaged communities we worked with key partners including Louder Than Words, who embedded a truly unique approach to inclusivity and diversity throughout the project.

We also engaged with and listened to the voices of young environmental activists to understand the issues faced by disadvantaged young people.

The evaluation

The Centre for Education & Youth (CfEY), a highly-specialist think and action-tank rigorously assessed the pilot project’s impact.

The findings demonstrate measurable increases in the physical activity of participants, and a notable increase in academic knowledge and understanding of the programme’s core subjects.

  • 36% of participants increased their frequency of physical activity by the end of the programme.
  • There were measurable increases in children’s academic knowledge of the programme’s core subjects, with correct answers to knowledge tests about climate change increasing from 30% at the start of the programme to 51% at the end.
  • The programme supported children from a wide range of disadvantaged ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to rebuild relationships with peers and spend time outside, with pupils from 47 different ethnic backgrounds participating, of whom more than a third were eligible for Free School Meals – more than double the national average.

Download the reports

You can find out more about My School, My Planet and read the findings in full here:

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