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Firstly I’d like to introduce myself, my name is Gemma Woodford and I’ve recently started working with Cumbernauld Living Landscape as the Creating Natural Connections learning assistant. I’ll be going into primary schools throughout Cumbernauld to run environmental workshops and activities with children in classes 5-7, with the workshops running throughout term time.

In previous years it was thought that education could only be provided if you were in the four walls of a classroom. Now, it’s becoming evident that children can gain all the necessary skills and knowledge set by the curriculum for excellence whilst being outdoors.

Our aim at Cumbernauld Living Landscape is to connect children with nature through outdoor learning, and feel not only is it important that children learn about their natural heritage, but that spending time outdoors helps to improve their health and wellbeing. Research has shown that even just 5 minutes of playing outdoors can decrease a child’s stress and anxiety. With a clearer mind, and calmer approach this could then improve the child’s abilities in other classes.

Outside of school, children may not have access to local greenspaces, spending the majority of their time indoors playing game consoles. I feel it’s essential that all children should have the opportunity to connect with their local environment, and if they do not have the chance to do this at home, then they should be given it at school.

The workshops we provide to primary schools cover topics such as woodlands, pollination, bird and mammals, biodiversity, and rain gardens. Each workshop can help improve children’s numeracy and literacy skills, decision making, social skills, confidence and most importantly their health and wellbeing.

If this is something that you’d be interested getting your school involved with, or have any questions regarding the workshops and activities and how we can tie them into your current lesson plans, then please email myself at cumbernauldll@scottishwildlifetrust.org and I’ll be happy to come out to your school to discuss this further.

 


Gemma Woodford