Pupils in Aberdeenshire to begin LEAF programme next year

Pupils at an Aberdeenshire primary school have signed up to pilot a new exciting outdoor learning programme, designed improve outdoor learning and connect pupils with nature.

The key focus of the LEAF programme is to promote and expand outdoor education and connection with nature for young people.
The key focus of the LEAF programme is to promote and expand outdoor education and connection with nature for young people.

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful is kicking off a pilot of the international Learning about Forests (LEAF) programme in January 2023 as part of its Climate Action Schools framework.

Fifty-five schools from 21 local authorities across Scotland will be part of the pilot and will take part in training to help support them in working through the award.

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Pupils from Mill o' Forest Primary School will take part. Feedback from the pilot schools will help Keep Scotland Beautiful shape the award to make it as accessible as possible.

Nicola Davidson, Education and Learning Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We are delighted to announce the 55 schools that will form our LEAF pilot programme.

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“These schools, while working towards their Learning for Sustainability goals, are also helping us develop the programme for other schools in the country.

“By participating in the LEAF programme pupils will gain a better understanding of the natural world and learn lifelong lessons about their environment and how to protect it.”

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LEAF is a programme from the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

This programme is an exciting opportunity for schools and nurseries to meet their Learning for Sustainability goals whilst supporting pupils to connect with nature.

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The key focus of the LEAF programme is to promote and expand outdoor education and connection with nature for young people, to give young people a deeper and more involved understanding of the natural world.

There are important additional benefits for pupils who take part in LEAF due to increased access to outdoor education and connection with nature, including improvements in focus, mental wellbeing and academic outcomes.

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The pilot programme will run until July and, if successful and funding is secured, it is hoped LEAF will be expanded and offered to all schools .