Here are more links from from Natural England of recent and relevant evidence and reports, policy agenda developments, large scale delivery sector initiatives, resources and news items. This supports the Strategic Research Groups for Learning in Natural Environments and Outdoors for All in order to develop better coherence and collaboration in research and to improve links between research, policy and practice in these areas.

The following caught our eye:

A school excursion to a museum can promote physical activity in children by integrating movement into curricular activities
Mygind, Kryger, Sidenius, Schipperijn, Bentsen, – European Physical Education Review
The aim of this study was to examine whether a school excursion to a museum can increase primary school students’ Physical Activity  and reduce sedentary time. While an increase in light physical activity and reduction in the amount of sedentary time was observed, students did not spend more time in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) during the visit to the museum than on a regular school day. However, over the full excursion day, the students accumulated more MVPA. An excursion to a museum significantly reduced sedentary time, but was in itself not sufficient to increase MVPA.

Affordances guiding Forest School practice: the application of the ecological dynamics approach
V Sharma-Brymer, E Brymer, T Gray, K Davids – Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
A critical examination of Forest School reveals that it may be lacking a solid theoretical underpinning that can respond to diverse contexts and participants while escaping a one-size-fits-all approach encouraged by commercialisation. Ecological Dynamics offers a theoretical framework that has the potential to guide Forest School practice and clarify its effectiveness. The role of the Forest School practitioner becomes one of facilitating diverse populations in their perception of affordances in nature for individualised benefits, including well-being

What is different about Forest School? Creating a space for an alternative pedagogy in England
S Waite, A Goodenough – Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
Drawing on Forest School principles, empirical evidence and the theory of cultural density, we examine how Forest School can present important cultural and material contrasts in English young people’s experience and argue for the importance of this function within this context. We critique aspects of the dilution of Forest School principles, arguing that in England, and perhaps other cultures where outdoor experiences have become relatively rare, it is important that Forest School is valued as a site of divergence from more common learning spaces and situations.

Translating Forest School: A response to Leather
S Knight – Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
This paper responds to criticisms of the lack of a theoretical framework for Forest School by demonstrating its social constructivist paradigm and its links to theories of play. It explores the cultural context that has allowed Forest School to flourish in the UK and explains the origins of the leadership qualification studied by practitioners.

The reality of doing outdoor education: Questions to consider when setting up your forest school
K Avenell – Educating Young Children: Learning and Teaching in the Early Childhood Years
Outdoor education, or nature pedagogy, is a form of curriculum delivery and teaching pedagogy developing momentum, not only across Europe, where forest schools have been established for decades, but also within Australia itself. Forest schools, bush kinders, river kinder – within Australia there are many names for an initiative that advocates for immersing children in the great outdoors.

Priorities, identity and the environment: Negotiating the early teenage years
Chris Eames, Miles Barker & Carol Scarff – The Journal of Environmental Education
This study focuses on the negotiation of environmental identity by 10 New Zealand students as they progressed from late primary school to junior secondary school. Thirteen major themes emerged, which are discussed in terms of two overarching findings. First, the deep-seated, composite and pivotal resonances between home and school influences in effective environmental education for sustainability (EEfS) learning are described. Secondly, a focus on the complex negotiation of the early teenage years suggests how promoting EEfS might occur more productively in secondary schools

Turning the tide on trash: Empowering European educators and school students to tackle marine litter
BL Hartley, S Pahl, M Holland, I Alampei, JM Veiga, RC Thompson – Marine Policy
This research examined two educational activities for European audiences. An online training course for educators and a video competition for students. After the activities, understanding and willingness to address the problem increased. Educators felt more able and confident to include marine litter in their teaching. Students felt more concerned, aware of causes and impacts, and took more action.

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