A longitudinal evaluation of the impact upon disadvantaged primary age children attending Forest School and outdoor learning. This research was commissioned as part of a Wildlife Trust project in a school over 3 years, both in and out of school. The project presented a rare opportunity to gather robust evidence of long term pupil outcomes. It is funded by the Blagrave Trust and Plymouth University.
At project end in 2016, we will publish the findings, which in Year 1 and 2 show benefiical outcomes for wellbeing, attendance and attainment. Notably, the project has contributed positively to a culture change towards outdoor learning in the school and local schools network.
The following presentations have been made in Year 2 (2014-15):
‘Wild Wood: midway findings from a longitudinal study’, Royal Geographical Society International Conference, Exeter, 2 September 2015.
‘Wild Wood: midway findings from a longitudinal study’, Lessons from Near and Far: National Natural Connections Conference, University of East London, 3 July 2015.
‘Wild Wood: midway findings from a longitudinal study’, World Environmental Education Congress, Gothenburg, Sweden, 29 June 2015.
McCree, M. and Sherwin, D. (2014) ‘Year 1 of a longitudinal evaluation of the impact upon disadvantaged primary age children attending Forest School and outdoor learning over a 3 year period’, Tackling Disadvantage: The Role of the Outdoors Symposium, Reading University, 23rd October 2014.
Mel McCree is also a co-author on a reference book chapter referring to the project, published at the end of 2015:
Austin, C., Knowles, Z., Richards, K., McCree, M., Sayer, J. & Ridgers N. (2015) ‘It’s Natural to Play: Creating Enabling Environments for Physically Active Play in the Forest Setting’, in Skelton, T., Nairn, K. and Kraftl, P. (2015) Space, Landscape, and Environment, Volume 2, in Skelton, T. (editor-in-chief) Geographies of Children and Young People, Springer Singapore.
The project findings are also noted in the Natural Connections Demonstration Project report from their national conference Lessons from Near and Far, July 2015.