Earthwatch Launches Environmental Resources for Students With Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
18th September 2023
Empowering and inspiring everyone to learn about the environment and connect with nature, regardless of their background, their abilities or circumstances, is central to what we do at Earthwatch Europe. As part of our work pursuing this goal, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our resources for children and people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
We believe all people should have the opportunity to spend time and learn in nature. A 2019 study showed that children have increased personal wellbeing and health after participating in outdoor activities. It found that children are more motivated and engaged when learning outdoors. Participating in outdoor activities also increases their levels of nature connection over time and encourages the development of pro-environmental values.
The Earthwatch Education team created these resources, with funding from Benefact, so that everyone with SEND can also benefit from the power of nature to improve their wellbeing and deepen their learning. They will help to empower them to become active agents of change in a fight for a better planet for us all.
The Nature & Me series has been designed with SEND pupils in mind, for learning at Lower Key Stage 2 Level or equivalent. The modules cover topics on building confidence learning in the outdoors, developing understandings of processes in our natural environment, and how students’ actions and choices impact the environment.
Each activity is labelled with a type (sensory, mindfulness, imagination, or comprehension), along with a difficulty level. The modules are set out in a way that enables teachers to adjust instructions, pace and level according to the individual needs of their pupils.
Hanna Mroczka, our Learning & Engagement Coordinator, said:
Having worked with some incredible pupils with special educational needs and their teachers, we have discovered that all children have the ability and motivation to become changemakers and take positive action for our planet. Unfortunately, opportunities to learn about environmental challenges and connect to our natural world in a meaningful way are limited for those experiencing learning difficulties and disabilities. We have created these resources to highlight to educators, parents and organisations that we need to include every child in efforts to empower them to build a safer and more sustainable future.
Find out more and access our SEND resources here.