We work with primary schools to create a greener outdoor space where nature and the children can thrive. We get pupils involved from the offset, letting them share their own ideas, and we work with the school to turn these ideas into reality. From tree planting to bug hotels - there's a whole host of ways to help wildlife in your school.
To date, we've worked with 9 schools (and counting) to improve their outdoor space for the benefit of the pupils, school staff and wildlife. We aim to provide ongoing opportunities for children to spend time outside, learn about nature and why we need it as much as it needs us, and to gain skills and hands-on experience working on projects that increase and/or improve green space at their school. In early 2023 we launched our Green School programme to have a bigger, longer-lasting impact.
Our Green School programme
What is the Green School programme?
A programme of events that gives primary schools a chance to improve their field or playground for the wellbeing of pupils, staff and wildlife. With lots of learning, creativity and fun along the way! It includes:
- Our energising ‘Be a Tree’ assembly
- Ideas and design sessions in class
- Outdoor nature exploration sessions
- Tree planting and other practical outdoor experiences
- Support with fundraising for projects, if needed
- Creation or development of a nature friendly area
- Follow up visits to help schools look after their green space
Why are we doing it?
The vast majority of our school children are rapidly losing their connection with their local natural environments, particularly children from urban environments. (2009 Natural England ‘Childhood and nature’ survey)
We want to give more children up to age 11 easy access to nature by working with schools that meet one or more of our selection criteria (see below). We also want to give kids a say on the outdoor spaces where they play or spend time. We want to empower them by giving them the skills and knowledge to create and look after their new space.
How does it work?
Our experts deliver special assemblies to inspire pupils to think more imaginatively about their interactions with nature. We lead workshops where the children can share their ideas for what they’d like to see in a new or improved green space at their school. We then help to bring their amazing ideas to life.
Our Green School programme is for primary schools in South Yorkshire that meet one or more of the following selection criteria:
- Located in an area of high deprivation according to Index of Multiple Deprivation
- School grounds consisting of a concrete playground, with little to no green space
- Close proximity to busy roads
- Higher than average number of children on Pupil Premium, with special educational needs (SEN) or English as Additional Language
How do we measure impact?
We gather qualitative and quantitative research from pupils and staff at schools at the start of the programme and again towards the end of the programme. We do this in an imaginative way, with fun feedback sheets and carrying out impact events in the spaces we help them create.
How much does it cost the school?
Our basic Green School programme costs £1,800 up to the point of creation/transformation of the outdoor space. We can offer elements of our Green School programme for free if needed, though when there is budget available we ask that schools pay what they can. This helps us to help more schools.
Where no available budget is available from the school to deliver the project, we will provide fundraising support to raise the target amount required. Each project cost will vary depending on the scope and design of the space available.
What if a school doesn’t meet the selection criteria?
We’re open to working with any school in South Yorkshire, if the school is able to cover the cost of the basic programme (£1,800) plus any additional elements required and is able to raise funds for project delivery if not already available from the school budget. We also encourage schools with more available funds, to make a ‘pay it forward’ donation, so we can deliver the programme for free or at a lower cost to schools in areas of higher deprivation.