INNOVATIVE TEACHING PACK
This pack has been produced in response to the Coronavirus pandemic by Muddy Feet in partnership with Cherwell District Council. Coronavirus has had a dramatic and rapid impact across the UK, communities are locked down and schools have been closed to all but vulnerable and key worker children. The impact of this experience will be seen in the months and years to come. Research on the impacts of previous pandemics has shown that we can expect an increase in anxiety, trauma, post traumatic stress, and a decrease in confidence and educational attainment.
Many schools are planning to reopen as the lockdown eases and the Government guidelines recommend the use of playgrounds and outdoor spaces for teaching. Over the last 20 years there has been an increasing body of scientific research that proves time in nature is beneficial to our mental health. Immersing ourselves and connecting with nature enables us to lower cortisol levels, restores attention, and balances our nervous system. Nature can activate our neural pathways that are associated with calmness. This leads to decreased levels of anxiety and depression.
The University of Derby has published research into human – nature connections. They recognise there is ‘no well-being without nature's wellbeing’. This research identifies 5 pathways to developing nature connection. This research suggests that nature connection can offer us simple solutions to deal with complex social problems. By using your school's outdoor space creatively you can provide a simple and cost effective way of helping children to manage their anxiety, concerns and support a more effective reintegration into school life. It provides an opportunity to build widespread nature connection and better mental and physical wellbeing.
This teaching pack contains 6 session plans to aid in the transition of children from home back into school using nature based therapeutic activities. The pack uses the 5 pathways to nature connection as a framework for the sessions .
My first read through, I really like it, the way you have organised it and the gentle social distancing reminders. I particularly like the 1st session prepping the families for a return. Genius!! I hadn't even begun to think about that
The transition booklet has been amazing. I have a group of 10 boys and they literally beg to do the 'outdoor' book... it's the transition programme. They have been amazing at discussing their feelings and we now have chats about these at different times throughout the day with no prompting from me. We have also found a fox skeleton and badger sett as part of our nature work which they think is pretty cool too. So a massive thank you again!
This pack is free for all schools in Cherwell. The pack costs £5.00 for schools outside Cherwell and practitioners, you can buy it on the link below
Read the press release in the Oxford Mail
Cherwell District Council news