The way school grounds are developed, used and managed can have a significant impact on pupils’ attitudes and behaviour towards school, each other, the wider environment and society. Pupils can spend as much as 25% of their time in the school grounds. That’s more than one day a week, so it is important pupils experience positive experiences. Young people read messages and meanings from the quality of their surroundings. They interpret the condition of their surroundings as a reflection of the value adults place on the environment and the children who are the main users.
School grounds can provide a valuable habitat for many native plants and animals, especially where green space may be limited. Sympathetic maintenance regimes can maximise the benefit of boundary features, such as hedgerows and tree belts. Unused corners of recreational areas can be managed to increase the growth of wild-flowers and therefore the sites value as invertebrate and bird habitat.
School grounds also have great potential for developing young people’s awareness of the environment around them. Having school nature areas, which have been set aside or created especially for environmental education should be valued, as it allows young people to experience and interact with biodiversity on a daily basis.
We aim to:
- Use school grounds as a resource to engage the wider community in the natural environment.
- To increase the ability of young people to improve places that are important to them and to influence the attitudes and decisions that shape neighbourhoods and communities.
- To raise awareness of the importance of schools grounds, by conserving and enhancing existing biodiversity and encouraging good nature conservation practice within the school environment.
- To empower young people to gain new skills by improving their local environment.