What is the John Muir Award?
The John Muir Award is a national environmental award that encourages people of all
backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places through a structured yet
adaptable scheme. The Award isn’t competitive but should challenge each participant. It
encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun,
adventure and exploration. The Award is open to all, and is the educational initiative of the John Muir Trust. To find out more, please click here.
What does the Award involve?
The John Muir Award has 4 challenges for students, which are designed to promote a holistic approach to learning, and reflect John Muir’s own wilderness experience.
The Challenges are:
- Discover a wild place – this could be your school grounds, woodlands, the mountains
- Explore it – increase your understanding
- Conserve – take personal responsibility
- Share your experiences
What are the benefits to schools?
There are several ways you could use the John Muir Award to benefit your pupils, and
- Encourage an experiential approach to teaching curriculum subjects
- Help close gaps in attainment and opportunity, improve behaviour and attendance and increase engagement with learning
- Promote physical and emotional wellbeing
- Utilise school grounds, local or more distant wild places, and make connections between them
To find out more about John Muir Award and the curriculum, read the accompanying
Circle of Life Rediscovery and the John Muir Award
CLR have been offering the John Muir Award at Discovery and Explorer Level since 2006 – the first organisation in Sussex to offer this prestigious national environmental award.
Since then hundreds of young people have achieved the Award which at its heart recognises young people’s connection with, enjoyment of and care for wild places.
Tiffins Boys School, London – We begin the Award with a Woodland Day in May to start the journey, and to teach students the skills they will need for camp (Discover). They will learn fire lighting, shelter building, cooking…some of which they have never tried before. The woodland day is also an opportunity for students to join in with planning the camp activities – what else would they like to learn?
Camp takes place in June for 2 night and 3 days (Explore) and includes activities such as tool use, team building games, night stalks, cooking and plenty of adventure.
Students also take part in a conservation activity (Conserve) during camp, which could
include tree planting or clearing an area within the woodland to open up the canopy to new growth, therefore increasing the overall biodiversity of the woodland.
At the end of camp students go back to school and (Share) their experiences and learning with the rest of the school. They come away from their John Muir Award experience with more confidence, closer as a team, with a better understanding of the natural environment and having achieved a nationally-recognised award at Discovery level.
“I didn’t think that I liked camping but I have underestimated myself. The camp was amazing, I have not only learnt new skills but I have learnt to be grateful about everything around me. I have a new sense of confidence and believe in myself.”
Camp Participant, June 2017.
Please contact us if you are interested in exploring the John Muir Award with Circle of Life Rediscovery. Each Award is bespoke and unique to your requirements.
Please note – we can also offer the John Muir Award as a series of day visits either on your school site, or our woodland site, or a mixture of both. The programme can be designed around your curriculum needs so do contact us to discuss this as an option, find out more.
By Katie Scanlan
We look forward to hearing from you.
Circle of Life Rediscovery also run Forest School sessions, Forest School training, woodland days, enrichment activity days, outdoor learning days, CPD for teachers and family activity days in our beautiful Sussex woodland. Please visit our website for more details or call 01273 814226.