Schools join nature programme

Milford Mercury: GREAT OUTDOORS: Five new Outdoor Schools proudly show off their certificates presented by Cllr Sue Perkins, Cabinet member for Education and Safeguarding (centre).   (7867924) GREAT OUTDOORS: Five new Outdoor Schools proudly show off their certificates presented by Cllr Sue Perkins, Cabinet member for Education and Safeguarding (centre). (7867924)

FIVE Pembrokeshire schools will be spending more time in the great outdoors as part of a project to re-build childrens’ bond with nature.

Milford Haven Juniors, Meads Infants, Ysgol Bro Ingli, Sageston, and St Oswalds can now call themselves ‘outdoor schools’.

Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools is a project helping pupils learn more about ecology and sustainability, and develop a ‘sense of well-being’ by working together outside.

Headteachers have worked with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA), Sports Pembrokeshire, Pembrokeshire County Council, and the Darwin Centre to develop the project, which has also been helped with sponsorship from Sport Pembrokeshire, Dragon LNG, Pembrokeshire County Council, and in-kind costs from PCNPA and Sign Speed.

The project has already won accolades from pupils and teachers, and has proved so successful it is being shared in Carmarthenshire schools as an example of good practice.

Chairman of the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools project, Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre, said: “Outdoor Schools is a culture change; it’s getting young people, teachers, and schools to rebuild bonds with their local environment and use its wonderful inspiration to bring added life to cross curricular learning and enjoyment.

“The work of the partners aims to raise confidence levels in teachers, and light sparks of inspiration in pupils.

“I remember spending hours upon hours outside as a child, and I use the skills I learnt on a daily basis.

“It feels great to have the opportunity to be involved in re-engaging a generation in the outdoors.

“The recognition the project has gained through its acknowledgement as good practice, and subsequent sharing with other counties, is a fantastic reward for the hard work of the Pembrokeshire schools, and for the pupils in other counties as they come on board.”

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