Over 30 attendees joined together for an afternoon of exploring education resources out in nature, with the aim of building confidence in teaching outside the classroom and connecting more young people to their local environment.
The afternoon’s experiential activities were hand-picked to complement the Enviroschools Theme Area key concepts. Attendees explored activities designed to pick up and go, with the aim of removing barriers to getting into the outdoors and using ‘nature as a classroom’. Teachers rotated around hands-on activities that included identifying invertebrates, ‘nature taster’ activities for exploring backyards and local environments, and sparking interest and connection with nature by using the senses.
The afternoon was framed by the Environmental Education for Sustainability Strategy, and discussions on the behaviours and actions that lead to positive environmental change. Teachers talked about why they see educating in nature as important, but that sometimes they lack the time to plan, or the confidence to take a classroom outside. Feedback from the workshop reflected many teachers’ new found confidence in stepping out into what their school backyards offer teaching and learning.
Funding provided by the Sustainable Future Fund enabled this workshop to have broader reach, and a tool box of activities and resources has been created by Enviroschools and can be borrowed for classroom use.
“I’m feeling pumped. That was fantastic – teachers have practical activities they can run with.” – Jody Boulding, Paroa School.
“What a wonderful session – simple but effective activities which I heard a couple of the less confident outdoor educators speaking positively about” – Kristine Hickford, Kaniere School.
“I feel very supported – thank you” – Suzanne Hills, Kiwi Conservation Club
“Excellent ideas – simple, practical and fun” – Bronwyn Reid, Hokitika Primary School
Banner Photo: Workshop participants enjoy a range of sensory activities.