Green Earth Schools - Earthwatch

Green Earth Schools

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Transforming school grounds into nature-rich spaces for exceptional outdoor learning and play.

Through our Green Earth Schools programme, we collaborate with schools to create the optimal nature features for their grounds to support outdoor learning. We help students build a strong connection to nature and use their voices to drive solutions-based approaches to environmental challenges.

These skills and experiences will enable more students to choose the green careers that are needed to tackle the climate crisis. Green Earth Schools builds on our successful Tiny Forest project which has enabled us to work with over 70 schools across the UK, engaging students with quality green space in urban areas.

Why we do it

1/3 of UK households don’t have adequate access to greenspaces with fundamental disparities disproportionately affecting children from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and those living on a lower income.

83% of 8-15 year olds interviewed by Natural England in 2020 said being in nature made them very happy. The wellbeing benefits of being immersed in nature for all age groups are scientifically proven.

73% of 8-16 year olds say they are worried about the state of the planet right now. ​At the same time, 70% of teachers have not received adequate training to educate students on climate change.

What we offer

From edible gardens and planters to living walls, hedgerows and ponds – our selection of nature features caters for all spaces, big and small.

We collaborate with each school community to identify, design and install the optimal nature feature(s) for their grounds. We do this in a meaningful way, with citizen science-based resource and activity packs that link to the national curriculums and support outdoor learning, environmental and STEM education.

We provide training to teachers to build their skills and confidence in leading inspiring outdoor and environmental learning, enabling the school to use the nature feature to maximum effect.

“Regenerating biodiversity lost and conserving our natural environment is critical to combating impacts of climate change and creating a more sustainable society. This is a key part of Canon’s continued efforts to bring the world closer to achieving ‘kyosei’ – Canon’s corporate philosophy of living and working together for the common good.” 

Canon Europe

How it works

Our impact

Green Earth Schools aims to:

  • Empower students to create a quality green space in their school grounds that they can access and enjoy on a daily basis, and enabling them to take positive action for our planet.
  • Build a lasting green legacy as these living science labs will be maintained for future generations of pupils to enjoy.
  • Equip teachers and educators with the tools they need to take learning outside, inspiring their children and young people to build curiosity of the natural world, create solutions-focused thinking and build a foundation of strong scientific knowledge of the environment.

Youth voice

Through Green Earth Schools, we are supporting the LEGO® Build The Change mission to give children a voice and use their ideas and visions to inspire leaders around the world.

We are collaborating with LEGO® Build The Change as a powerful tool for children to express their hopes and dreams for the future with LEGO® bricks and other creative materials, plus their own imagination.

Through a Green Earth Schools Creativity Day, children and young people will learn about the environmental challenges facing our planet, and urban spaces, and explore Nature Based Solutions. Pupils will then be given the creative platform to re-design and re-build their own school grounds, enriching pupil engagement, and enhancing green skills in solutions-based thinking and leadership.

In March-April 2023, we worked with Bygrove Primary School and Sacred Heart RC Primary School in London to create new nature features within their grounds to be designed, installed and cared for by the students, made possible with the support of the Tomoro Foundation and LEGO® Build the Change

Our school is situated in a densely populated part of London with very few green spaces. Many of our children live in flats without access to garden spaces. Our children love being in nature for their learning and play, so opportunities to engage with nature are valuable. They are also important elements of our curriculum, particularly the science and geography learning. As well as a way to enhance learning, we believe that access to nature and green spaces is integral to high well-being and happiness

Fiona Durnian, Head of School, Bygrove Primary School

Sacred Heart have been delighted to partner with Earthwatch for the Green Earth Schools project. They have created a wonderful school garden space for children to experience growing and promoting nature and diversity. They have put the education and involvement of the children at the forefront of the project, and the children have been left with a real sense of ownership of the space that has been developed.

Jared Brading, Executive Headteacher at Sacred Heart RC Primary School

How to get involved

For more information about the Green Earth Schools programme and how it can benefit your school community, please get in touch with our Development team.

Image credit: Yoke Creative

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