Trainee teachers and schoolchildren from across the Liverpool City Region are developing new skills and confidence thanks to LJMU’s Outdoor Learning Area.
The green space in the heart of the city centre has been officially opened this week and is already hugely popular with student teachers and school pupils.
LJMU’s outdoor learning zone is a safe and stimulating environment for the School of Education to deliver its Natural Curriculum, which promotes outdoor education and its benefits to children’s development and wellbeing.
LJMU welcomes school pupils from across the city region and beyond to learn key curriculum knowledge and skills in a natural environment. It also helps them to develop their resilience and motor skills, as well as getting physically active.
Student teachers, meanwhile, can develop new teaching skills and qualifications by delivering sessions outdoors.
The Outdoor Learning Area, based in the grounds of John Lennon Art and Design Building, was officially opened by Paul Nolan OBE, Director of the Mersey Forest. The Mersey Forest has donated trees for the space and worked in partnership with LJMU to develop the Natural Curriculum.
The green space was formally recognised as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, an environmental initiative encouraging people across the UK to plant a tree for the jubilee.
Dr Avril Rowley, Senior Lecturer and Natural Curriculum Hub Lead at LJMU’s School of Education, said: “Our Natural Curriculum is an innovative way of incorporating outdoor education at the heart of our approach. Children benefit in so many ways from learning in a natural environment and our student teachers develop a range of new creative skills.
“We are delighted with the Outdoor Learning Area and look forward to welcoming schools from across the region to work with us and make use of this wonderful green space.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support of Mersey Forest, Urban GreenUp and our other partners who share our passion for incorporating nature in our teaching, learning and research.”
Pictured: LJMU student teachers working with pupils from Pleasant Street Primary School in the Outdoor Learning Area.