Your LEAF Action Plan is the place where you can keep a track of your LEAF aims and activities. It is also a great tool for checking your progress at the end of your LEAF journey.
Your first step in starting your Action Plan is to choose a Theme for you LEAF journey. Your Theme will help you focus your LEAF work on an area that is important to you. Visit our Theme page to help you choose a theme.
Once you have chosen your Theme, you can get started on creating your LEAF Action Plan. Your Action Plan can be in any format you choose. We have an Action Plan Template, which you may find useful, or you can create your own.
The key areas to include in your Action Plan are:
- Aims: Where you want to get to at the end of your LEAF journey.
- It is no problem to include long term projects that carry over to your next LEAF journey, but it may help you to break these down into smaller milestones that can be achieved in the timescale of your current journey.
- Actions: The activities you will do to reach your aims.
- Action planning: Who will carry out your actions and when.
- Progress checking: How will you know if your actions have been successful in achieving your aims?
- Evaluation: Look back over your actions and identify if your actions were successful in achieving your aims. (This will be done at the end of your LEAF journey.)
We have example Action Plans to help you get started:
Products Action Plan in a nursery
Biodiversity Action Plan in a primary school
Water Action Plan in a secondary school
Please note that these Action Plans contain the minimum of three actions, but you can have as many aims and actions as you want. You can see how progress was checked and evaluated by looking at the examples in on our Check Progress page.
You need a minimum of three actions to qualify for your LEAF award.
You need to ensure your actions cover the following requirements:
More opportunities for pupils to connect with nature
Connection with nature can occur wherever access to greenspace is available and can include school grounds, local forests or woodlands, local parks, allotments, community gardens and home gardens.
The Nature Connection Handbook from the University of Derby is a fantastic resource to help you get started, including simple activities that are easy to fit into your daily routine.
If you are unsure where you can find spaces to connect with nature, you may find the NatureScot Greenspace Map for Outdoor Learning.
Progress in learning taking place outside
This could include an increase in time pupils spend learning outdoors or an improvement in the quality of learning outdoors, for example better facilities or more subjects covered.
Outdoor learning includes any learning that takes place outdoors, whether that is in the school grounds, or outside it.
Further support for outdoor learning can be found on our outdoor learning page.
Learning about forest-based ecosystems
Forests can include tree-based ecosystems (whether urban or in the countryside), marine forests (such as kelp or sea grass forests). You could even investigate micro-forests such as moss and lichen.
Consider the different functions of forests when thinking about what you want to learn:
- Cultural (how people interact with forests)
- Ecological (how forests provide for rich biodiversity, clean air, improved soil quality etc.)
- Economic (how forests provide resources and jobs)
- Social (how people use the forest in a social context)
Learning can be conducted in a variety of formats
- As project-based learning focusing on forest ecosystems
- As a set of learning based around a single subject, for example biology or geography.
- As multiple learning activities spread through different classes and/or subjects
Our LEAF resources page has lots of additional resources to help support you in meeting these requirements.
Once you have completed your Action Plan, you have the option to submit a draft for feedback to check if you are on the right track. We recommend sending your Action Plan to us within three months of starting your LEAF journey. If you would like feedback, send your Action Plan to email@example.com and feedback will be sent to you within three weeks.