Schools in England, Scotland and Wales are being invited to apply for up to £500 worth of free outdoor equipment and two hours of professional outdoor training as part of the third instalment of Local School Nature Grants.
Delivered by the UK's leading outdoor learning and play charity, Learning through Landscapes, Local School Nature Grants have been helping schools across Great Britain since 2017. Funded by players of People's Postcode Lottery, the grants have so far provided £900,000 worth of equipment to 800 schools. This year it will reach a further 500 schools.
Carley Sefton, CEO of Learning through Landscapes, said, "Local School Nature Grants are a brilliant opportunity for schools to explore the benefits - and ease - of outdoor learning. All packages are customisable, meaning schools can pick and choose from a menu of items and training that best suits them.
"We all know that outdoor learning has huge benefits for children and young people; it enhances creativity, improves concentration and supports mentality. It can also have huge impact on teachers and their wellbeing.
"We hope that the programme can break down some of the barriers against taking lessons outside. We want our training and nature equipment to excite teachers so, in turn, they are able to excite their students."
This year, schools will be able to apply for a fresh range of topics. These themes will be:
- eco warrior,
- fork to fork,
- buzz for pollinators, and
- create with nature.
Carley added, "It felt important to include topics with more of an environmental focus. It's clear that this is something our children care about, and so teaching them more about sustainability whilst outdoors can stand as a crucial way to support this."
The latest application phase is open, running until April 26th. Four rounds will run throughout the year. If applicants are unsuccessful in one round, they will have the opportunity to apply in later rounds.
This year, the scheme is also open to non-mainstream schools, including pupil referral units.
Talking about the support of the programme, Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "What I love about Local School Nature Grants is that it's so wonderfully diverse, with children in infant schools, young people in secondary schools and everyone else in between being able to benefit! With over 100 different nature products available, there are plenty of options for schools to choose the products that will work best for their learners.
"Players of People's Postcode Lottery have funded the programme since 2017 and I'm incredibly proud to see the huge reach it has had and to hear the brilliant feedback from teachers - and students - who have benefited from it."