With schools now closed for many children, the Heart of England Forest is looking at how we can support children and families over the difficult weeks or months ahead.
Nature activities at home
To help combat the boredom and support children’s mental health, we are posting an outdoor activity idea every day on our social media channels for families to do together in their gardens or other natural space. These ideas do not need too many resources so people don’t need to buy anything in order to take part.
Most importantly these activities are fun and get children out in the fresh air and connected to nature, but they are also National Curriculum linked so support your child’s learning.
Supporting children still attending school
Building on the WildTribe activities to do at home, we are working on how we can support schools’ provision for children of our vital key workers who are still attending school.
Using our experience of working with local primary and secondary schools to offer progressive Learning in the Forest programmes, we’re offering to develop outdoor activities linking to any areas of the curriculum at any key stage to fit with learning objectives at this challenging time.
This fits with our current offer to schools of tailored bespoke programmes to deliver national curriculum outcomes in literacy, maths, history, geography, science, art and DT; as well as wider benefits including personal development, improved mental and physical health and connection to nature. Teachers can contact us with their learning objective across any area of the curriculum and we will come up with an activity that delivers that objective.
We are also exploring the possibility of making our outdoor learning sites available for school staff to use with children of key workers, vulnerable children and children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Our head of Learning and Skills, Elaine Skates, says: “Children may be feeling anxious about the sudden changes and missing their friends. However, by making the most of the positives such as a slower pace of life and simple things like spending time with family and noticing changes in the natural world around us, our children could look back on this as a very special time. Our activities are designed to help families thrive at this challenging time.”
Teachers: Are you interested?
If you are interested in any of the above options, even if you are not already working with the Heart of England Forest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.