Then Environment Minister walking Knockmore Primary School Grounds, Lisburn
This projected supported schools and pupils develop their school grounds for wildlife while bringing environmental education to life for the pupils and teachers. It was a free programme, funded by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. It leaves a legacy of wildlife-friendly school grounds and resources for teachers.
It leaves a legacy of wildlife-friendly school grounds and resources for teachers.
The project was developed following numerous enquiries from teachers who were keen to develop their school grounds to provide not only spaces for wildlife but a natural space where the children could explore and learn. The project ended in March 2011 leaving a legacy of:
- 5000 hours of environmental education delivered in 30 schools (16 primary and 14 secondary) across Northern Ireland, reaching some 2500 children.
- 3000 square metres of school grounds transformed into wildlife havens
- Awards for distinguished progress by six schools, nominated by the environmental guides who worked with them. Many schools also received awards under the EcoSchools' Award Scheme.
- A range of resources developed to support teachers in continuing to pass on a love and understanding of their local environment.
- A clear understanding of how useful the support of trained, experienced guides is to support the teaching of the environmental aspects of the curriculum.
Current status of the project:
Due to budgetary cuts across government, the NIEA does not have a budget for environmental education this financial year. The Ulster Wildlife Trust have raised the importance of environmental education with government; and the benefits to participating schools of this project in support the teaching of the environmental aspects of the curriculum. We are currently seeking finance for the continuation of this project.
During the course of the project, we developed a series of resources to support teachers bring the environmental programme to life for their students; and to continue to inspire a new generation of nature enthusiasts beyond the life of the project. These resources were developed based on lessons learnt from the project. They will be free to download here shortly.
For further information, please contact the Outreach and Learning Officer at 028 4483 3963 or email@example.com