Social and Emotional Learning in nature-rich environments

by Geoff Norman, CDEC

We identified a range of nature-rich, public access sites near our school, and took groups of Year 1 and Year 2 children to visit them. The visits were weekly, took all day, and involved the same children and staff. Some focussed activities took place but the emphasis was on exploration and play while they learned about the natural features and inhabitants of the places. We visited woods, beaches, raised bogs and bird reserves. A wide range of evaluation work was done and the outcomes were unanimously positive about the impact on the children’s social skills and emotional wellbeing.