The Nature Park’s green skills provide opportunities to bring purpose to all aspects of the formal curriculum
Benefits for Learners
The National Education Nature Park programme is designed to support education settings to help children and young people throughout their formal learning to find meaning in nature, and as a result, engage more with nature in their lives and their learning.
Each step of the Nature Park cycle builds on effective teaching practice by valuing learners’ existing experiences and knowledge, helping them to build the knowledge and skills that will allow them to make decisions, plan and to carry out interventions to develop their local nature park. Subsequently, children and young people will develop the skills to act on behalf of nature as well as the needs of their school and local community, working together to build positive change. Learners’ wellbeing, nature connection and the inclusion of all needs should be at the heart of green skill development, empowering learners to have the agency to care for each other and for the planet now and in their future roles.
Participation in the Nature Park Programme supports development of the following green skills. The icons above can be found on our resources indicating skill development that can be achieved alongside curriculum knowledge.
Identification and Ecology
Observing, noticing and identifying nature
Purpose – To develop the key skill of confidently knowing and identifying features of their local area and local biodiversity, through noticing, observing and accurately identifying species, habitats and local characteristics within these spaces.
Using tables, drawings, photographs, digital tools, maps and other means to make observations and measurements about nature
Purpose – To develop the key skill of confidently, systematically and accurately collecting and recording information about biodiversity, and capture the views and ideas of the school community.
Using information from data to say what you found out
Purpose – To develop the skill of using the data collected together to identify findings, noticing patterns, consider the perspectives of others and to inform action about the improvements related to local nature and community needs.
Creative Thinking and Decision Making
Being able to make evidence-based decisions and to work collaboratively to design creative solutions to nature-based issues and find opportunities for change
Purpose – To understand the importance of using evidence to support their decisions, to listen to each other’s ideas, and make collaborative and creative decisions about how to enhance biodiversity and develop outdoor spaces for people and nature.
Environmental Stewardship and Horticulture
Having the skills, responsibility and agency to care for and advocate on behalf of local nature, habitats and living landscapes
Purpose – To develop the tools and motivation to improve biodiversity, respect and take care of and maintain their local landscapes and take into consideration the needs and perspectives of the local community. To develop the confidence to spend time outdoors, participating in both individual and group activities.
Being able to share issues, findings and impact in oral and written forms to different audiences to form a vision of a positive future
Purpose – To share ideas, knowledge, skills and experiences about the issues, changes and ideas about biodiversity, school and community needs and environmental development in creative and purposeful ways.
Curriculum links are outlined in the pdf download. They are not exhaustive, and through supporting intentional enquiry and young person voice, experiences can be facilitated to use interests to support the development of each setting’s nature park, from art, drama, music, history and all other areas across the curriculum. As the National Education Nature Park platform develops, resources will be added across a wide range of subject areas.