Outdoor learning hub expanded to inspire next generation of conservationists

Matthew Roberts

Education team makes 'Wild About Learning' resources even more accessible for teachers, parents and children.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has expanded its ‘Wild About Learning’ online hub to help more children and young people get closer to nature.

The Trust’s education team runs outreach sessions with schools, nurseries and play schemes, and activities at nature reserves across Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.

A virtual ‘Wild About Learning’ hub with 15 online sessions was launched in January 2021 to inspire the next generation of conservationists by making the team’s work even more accessible for children and their parents, carers and teachers.

The project has now been expanded to offer a total of 27 online sessions with videos, educational resources and activity sheets for all ages from tots to teens.

Education manager Vicky Dunne said: “We are delighted to have now added more sessions to our online hub to make our resources and know-how even more widely available for anyone who wants to help children benefit from outdoor play and learning.

“We know from experience that children thrive outside not only in relation to exploring the curriculum but also in terms of life skills and wellbeing. We hope sharing our ideas will give parents and teachers the confidence to get outdoors with their children and pupils more often, and encourage all ages to enjoy the natural world on their doorstep, whether that’s in the park, at home in the garden or on their school playground.”

The project is part of the education team’s Wild About Learning outdoor programme for children and young people in Coventry, Nuneaton and Bedworth, which is supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Wild About Learning both on the ground and now online provides forest school-themed sessions for three age groups: Nature Tots for pre-school children; Nature Club for primary school ages; and Call of the Wild for teenagers.

Topics range from dinosaurs and teddy bears for younger children to minibeasts, food chains and geology for Key Stages 1 & 2 and bush craft for teenagers.

Teacher Ben Terry, of St Bartholomew’s Church of England Academy in Binley, Coventry, said: “The Wild About Learning hub is a fantastic resource. It has provided us with a range of resources and advice about how to provide outdoor learning opportunities at school.

“There is factual information about wildlife, habitats and species which we can share with our students. There are also links and guidance for outdoor opportunities which are available to us in our local community, which we have shared with our families. 

“We have been lucky enough to have a Nature Club led by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust team in our Forest School. The children have loved the sessions so far, learning about minibeasts, wildlife, creating art and having fun outdoors.  The Learning Hub also provides us as a school with lots of ideas and resources for how we can improve and develop our outdoor learning provision.”

To find out more about Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Wild About Learning hub or access one of the virtual Nature Tots, Nature Club or Call of the Wild sessions, visit: www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/wildaboutlearning

Education manager Vicky Dunne with online Wild About Learning hub on tablet

credit Paula Irish, WKWT