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LEAF Resources

All our LEAF resources in one place.

All of the resources below can be used by anyone, whether you are working towards a LEAF award or not. They can be used as part of an Eco-Schools Green Flag award or for general Learning for Sustainability.

LEAF is an annual programme following the school year, with registration closing in October. Registration for 2023 is now closed, but you can sign up to take part next year (starting August 2024). 

Resources list

All resources have elements of our core LEAF requirements (outdoor learning, connection to nature and learning about forest-based ecosystems).

View our Tree of Learning curricular maps to help you link your LEAF activities to the curriculum: Early Level, First Level, Second Level, Third Level, Fourth Level

Specific help and resources for outdoor learning can be found on our Outdoor Learning page.

Key:

Theme icons

Resources are listed under their most relevant theme.

Additional theme icons indicate themes that the resource would also be relevant to.

Age range

Suggested age range suitability.

Many activities can be done out-with these age ranges, depending on pupil ability.

Duration

Durations are given as guidelines only.

Project = multi-day activity involving repeated work over several weeks as a minimum.

Equipment

* Very easy, no or very basic equipment needed

** Some equipment needed

*** Specialist equipment needed

General LEAF Resources

LEAF social script: This social script has been created using Boardmaker symbols and can be used to explain LEAF in simple terms. You can also download a booklet version to print double-sided. 

LEAF ideas and tips: A list of ideas from our fantastic LEAF schools for actions and activities that you can do as part of your LEAF Award.

LEAF on a budget: We know money doesn't grow on trees and school budgets are limited. This resource contains information from schools on how to obtain materials and equipment for LEAF on a tight budget and where to look for funding opportunities.

Benefits and risks of being outdoors: A resource co-created with educators to help pupils assess the benefits and risks of going outdoors for themselves, including completion of a risk assessment. 

Theme: All Themes     Age: 3-18     Duration: 1-2 hrs    Equipment: *

How to measure the height & age of a tree: A simple STEM activity to help you estimate the height and age of a tree in your local area.

Theme: All Themes     Age: 5-18     Duration: 30 mins    Equipment: *

LEAF Reading List: A list of English and Gaelic texts with forests and nature as their subjects. The list includes fiction and non-fiction titles split by age range. There are suggested points for discussion to expand learning further.

Theme: All Themes   Age: All   Duration: Depends on book length   Equipment: *

Tree planting: Excellent resources from The Woodland Trust, including Free trees for schools and communities, which small native trees to plant and Tree Planting Advice. Tree planting can be done on any scale, including single trees, or planting native hedges.

Theme: All Themes     Age: All     Duration: Project     Equipment: **

Biodiversity Planting: An excellent set of resources from The Garden for Life Forum to help you create an area rich in biodiversity. Start with ‘Garden for Life’, which has an amazing image of a wildlife friendly garden. Projects can be chosen to focus on a specific theme, e.g. add a pond for water, create an orchard for products. 

Theme: All Themes     Age: All     Duration: Project     Equipment: **

Inviting Pollinators to the school yard: This lesson plan, invites you to learn more about pollinators and create a pollinator friendly garden. This lesson has been adapted from a Portuguese entry to a FEE lesson plan competition.

Theme: All Themes     Age: 6-16     Duration: Project     Equipment: **

LEAF and the Sustainable Development Goals: This pack from The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature contains a series of activities, which can be used to link LEAF to each of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Theme: All Themes     Age: 7-18     Duration: 30 mins-full day per activity     Equipment: *

Nature Connection

54321: This activity is a quick and easy way for pupils to connect to nature with all their senses. It is paired with a reflection activity to reinforce outdoor experiences.

Theme: All Themes     Age: Any     Duration: 30 mins     Equipment: *

Connecting to Nature: The Nature Connection Handbook from the University of Derby is a fantastic resource, which includes information on the benefits of nature connection for all ages, as well as ways for pupils to connect with nature that are incredibly simple and not time consuming. 

Theme: All Themes     Age: Any     Duration: variable     Equipment: *

Barefoot Walking: A wonderful sensory activity from Keep Wales Tidy, allowing children to feel textures and temperature using their feet. Available for ages 3-7, 7-9 and 9-11.

Theme: All Themes     Age: 3-11     Duration: 30-60 mins     Equipment: **

A special space: This resource from Keep Wales Tidy gives children the opportunity to spend time in nature, taking in their surroundings and finding their own special space.

Theme: All Themes     Age: 7-11     Duration: 30-60 mins     Equipment: *

Biodiversity

COP15 Biodiversity Live Lessons: If you didn't see our Biodiversity Live Lesson in December 2022, you can still watch the recording and access the lesson resources. We have lessons for Early years to P3, Upper Primary and High Schools discussing COP15 for Biodiversity and celebrating the amazing organisms that we share our planet with.

Theme:     Age: 3-18     Duration: 30 - 2 hrs    Equipment: *

Imagine you are a…: This activity is an engaging way for pupils to view the world from the perspective of the animals and plants that they share it with. This will hopefully allow pupils to develop empathy for these organisms and consider what they can do to help protect them.

Theme:    Age: 3-18     Duration: 30 - 60 mins    Equipment: *

Food Chains / Web of Life: Two activities, the first is a simple activity from Keep Wales Tidy to help young children understand food webs. The second is an activity from Keep Scotland Beautiful for older pupils, where pupils create a food web based on local animals and plants.

Theme:    Age: 3-18     Duration: 30 - 60 mins    Equipment: *

Climate

The Last Wolf: Watch the Early Years session from Climate Action Week 2022 in which we explain climate change for young children and author Mini Grey reads her wonderful story ‘The Last Wolf’. The resources accompanying the video will help you carry out the activities Mini talks about, including planting your own trees.

Theme:      Age: 3-7     Duration: 30 min - 2 hrs    Equipment: *

What are trees made of?: This lesson from LEAF Ireland includes an experiment to estimate the carbon content of a tree. The support sheet accompanying this resource has lots of information on Forests and climate change, which can be used as the basis for discussion. 

Theme:      Age: 9-16     Duration: 1 - 2 hrs    Equipment: *

Community

Forest Conflicts: In this activity pupils will look at what different groups of people want from a forest. They will use this information to examine conflicts of interest around forest use.

Theme:     Age: 5-16     Duration: 1 - 2 hrs    Equipment: *

Your local trees and forests: This resource encourages pupils to find their local trees and forest and learn more about them through thinking about their various roles and interviewing local residents. They will then share their findings as stories, artworks or plays.

Theme:         Age: 7-18     Duration: Project    Equipment: *

Products

What wood I see: In this activity pupils will investigate all the different items made from wood that they use in their everyday lives.

Theme:     Age: 3-16     Duration: 1 hr to full day    Equipment: *

Make your own recycled paper: Learn about how paper is made by making your own recycled paper in this practical activity.

Theme:     Age: 3-18     Duration: 2 days    Equipment: ***

Water

Water tarpaulin: Use this activity from Keep Wales Tidy to model the natural flow of water using a tarpaulin and natural materials.

Theme:    Age: 3-9     Duration: 1-2 hrs    Equipment: **

How trees prevent flooding and pollution: This activity, including a discussion and an experiment, will help pupils learn about how trees help to prevent flooding and pollution and influence our weather and climate.

Theme:    Age: 9-16     Duration: 1-2 hrs    Equipment: **

Laws and Codes

Scottish Outdoor Access Code education resource pack: A series of activities produced by NatureScot that help children and young people understand their responsibilities in outdoor environments.

Theme:    Age: 3-18     Duration: 30 min-2 hrs per activity    Equipment: *

Create your own code: In this activity pupils will create their own code of conduct for their school grounds or local greenspace.

Theme:    Age: 3-16     Duration: 1-3 hrs    Equipment: *

Myths

Forest myths and stories: In this activity, pupils will explore myths and stories relating to trees and forests and use them as inspiration to create their own tales. .

Theme:    Age: 3-18     Duration: 2-4 hrs    Equipment: *

A Year of Tree Stories: In this activity, pupil will learn about the myths surrounding our native trees, as well as getting to know the trees themselves better with a wonderful resource from Forestry Commission Scotland.

Theme:    Age: 3-9   Duration: 1hr per story  Equipment: *

Creativity and Innovation

Land Art: A wonderful activity to create art that uses natural materials and leaves no environmental impact. You can vary the subject of your artworks to fit any theme.

Theme:   (  )    Age: 3-18     Duration: 1-2 hrs    Equipment: *

Music from Forests: In this activity, pupils will first explore sounds from nature, including sounds from inside a tree. They will then use natural materials to create their own music.

Theme:      Age: 3-18     Duration: Full day    Equipment: *

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