The Royal Forestry Society’s Teaching Trees programme, which brings primary schools together with local woods and woodland owners, has received the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom’s LOtC Quality Badge mark.
Teaching Trees Co-ordinator Becky Wilkinson says 'The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom is the national voice for learning outside the classroom and we are delighted they have recognised both the quality of the learning and the safety of the courses we provide'.
In 2018, RFS Teaching Trees hosted 256 curriculum-linked sessions in woodlands across England and Wales giving more than 5,000 children the opportunity to learn about trees, wildlife and forestry in a fun and hands-on way, and develop an appreciation of woodlands' value for the environment, timber production and enjoyment. More than 2000 of those children enjoyed more than one session.
Becky adds 'Teachers tell us that these visits have inspired further exploration of issues connected with trees and woodlands and that they continue to use the resources'. Feedback from the children is overwhelmingly positive. One teacher, reported ‘They thoroughly enjoying being outside, one pupil said they would get their parents to take them to the woods, another would like to start collecting acorns. Others are asking to do more Andy Goldsworthy patterns'.
RFS Teaching Trees also offers the Level 2 Outdoor Learning Practitioner award to equip staff to lead groups for outdoor learning. The course covers ways to develop plant and animal ID skills, risk assessments, ideas for developing your outdoor space, outdoor play using loose parts and natural resources as well as Creative Literacy, Muddy Maths and curriculum links. Thanks to a generous donation, four £100 bursaries are available towards the training for state-funded schools and childcare settings in Derbyshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire for courses taking place in Derbyshire and Staffordshire in February and March 2019. Schools wishing to apply for a bursary should email [email protected].
Photo credit: Royal Forestry Society