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Outdoor Education - If you go down to the woods

Teaching is enriched when forest, woods or trees become the classroom, according to a new education strategy published by Forestry Commission Scotland.

Woods for Learning aims to help schools and teachers overcome today's risk-averse and indoor-orientated society by providing an active, hands-on approach to developing children's education, says the commission, which highlighted a new forest school and kindergarten as examples of good practice.

Youngsters from the Westerhouse Nursery and Family Centre and Lochend Community High in Glasgow's Easterhouse have been participating in a pilot scheme which involves regular visits to nearby Bishop's Loch Nature Reserve. The younger children play in the woodland, while secondary pupils spend one day a week learning about the environment and undertaking practical outdoor bushcraft skills.

Along with other examples of good practice, the report contains information about support for teachers who are keen to step into the great outdoors but unsure about how to start. The Woodland Workout pack consists of 10 activity cards and 15 physical exercise cards which can be set up in a trail around a woodland or school grounds.

www.forestry.gov.ukwoodsforlearning.

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