Biodiversity and Education

Photo credit: Alan Howard
(courtesy of NWT)

Norfolk's wildlife reserves and living landscapes provide many opportunities for learning and can inspire all areas of the curriculum, from history and geography to science, arts, numeracy and literacy. There is mounting empirical evidence to show that children's contact with nature can lead to:

  • Greater understanding and improved learning across many subjects;
  • Improved behaviour and self-discipline;
  • Enhanced emotional development; and
  • Increased levels of physical activity.

In addition, people who have had positive outdoor experiences of natural environments as children are more likely to value and care for the natural environment as adults. For all these reasons, it is vital that young people have opportunities to experience wildlife and learn outdoors.

More Information

For more information about outdoor learning, Forest Schools, school ground improvements for wildlife, and the Field Study Centre at Holt, please visit the Norfolk schools website

Other useful sources of information include the following:

Growing Schools
Learning through Landscapes
Nature Detectives
Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Wildlife Watch

Resource Materials

Photo credit: Alan Howard
(courtesy of NWT)

Step Outside!

Step Outside! offers teachers creative ideas for utilising their outdoor space for cross-curricular learning. The main aims of this resource are to:

a) Support learning outdoors.
b) Support learning about biodiversity.
c) Support schools in enhancing the biodiversity of their school grounds.

Step Outside! is split into two main parts. The first part contains 12 cross-curricular activities under the themes of Plants, Animals, Habitats, and People & Nature. Under each theme, there are activities for Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils. The second part of the resource is a reference document with information about ways of maintaining and enhancing school grounds for wildlife.

Broads Futures

The Broad Futures website has been designed to give school staff access to resources relating to the Broads that will help them to embed Learning for Sustainability. It includes case studies and activity ideas for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, Key Stages 3 and 4, and Post 16. It also includes a list of places to visit in the Broads and a wide variety of other useful material.

Wildlife Information Service

Norfolk Wildlife Trust runs a free information service for teachers and the public to answer general enquires about Norfolk's wildlife. Email or telephone Wildline on 01603 598333.