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53 schools and nurseries complete LEAF pilot

Pupils across the country have completed our LEAF pilot programme which culminated in an online celebration.

We launched LEAF (Learning about Forests) in January 2023 in response to the nature emergency, with the aim of encouraging better connections to nature and learning outdoors for young people across Scotland.

A total of 53 schools and nurseries, from 21 local authority areas, took part in the programme. An online celebration took place on Thursday, 15 June to showcase schools completing the LEAF pilot and the schools set to receive their LEAF award.

The programme is an extension of our Climate Action Schools framework and aims to reconnect children and young people with natural environments, promote and expand outdoor education and improve their knowledge of forest-based ecosystems and help Scotland restore nature and increase biodiversity.

Schools involved in the LEAF pilot have completed different activities throughout. One school successfully campaigned to the local council to half the use of weedkiller in the school grounds, another worked with a local community group to improve biodiversity in their local area and one created a “Wild Workshop” in the forest where children could create their own inventions from fallen branches, twigs and recycled offcuts.

Ten of the 53 schools have received their LEAF award after submitting their application. The remainder of the schools are currently in the process of submitting their application in the hope of receiving an award. The successful schools have received a certificate and a packet of wildflower seeds to help them support their local biodiversity.

Nicola Davidson, our Education and Learning Officer, said: “The LEAF pilot programme has been a tremendous success. We’ve seen a fantastic response from the schools and nurseries involved with insightful and imaginative activities being completed.

“LEAF gives young people across the country the chance to explore nature and learn more about their environment, which is crucial as we work to restore nature and biodiversity.

“By taking pupils outdoors it gives them a unique opportunity to learn in a new format that can then be integrated into day-to-day teaching.

“The positive response and overall success of the first six months has been extremely encouraging and I’m looking forward to even more schools getting involved in the future.”

LEAF is a programme from the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). This programme is an exciting opportunity for schools and nurseries to meet their Learning for Sustainability goals and also promotes and expands outdoor education and connection with nature for young people.

Visit LEAF | Keep Scotland Beautiful for more information.

19 June 2023

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