What is International School Grounds Month?
Each year, in May, the International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) calls on schools around the world to take their pupils outside to celebrate International School Grounds Month. They believe that school grounds are hugely important to children and youth, and shape their experience of the world around them.
Why is it important?
In some cases, school or nursery grounds are the first place children have the opportunity to become acquainted with the natural world. Outdoor learning, even in a playground environment, provides opportunities for free play, exploration, development of fine and gross motor skills, physical activity, healthy risk taking and fun.
In 2016, a study funded by Persil, as part of their ‘dirt is good’ campaign, found that 74% of children spent less than 60 minutes playing outside each day.
This is less time than the UN guidelines for prisoners, which requires “at least one hour of suitable exercise in the open air daily”.
Further to this, the World Health Organisation has just released new guidelines to say that ‘children under five must spend less time sitting watching screens, or restrained in prams and seats, get better quality sleep and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy’ WHO, 24th April 2019. Visit their website for details.
So more time outdoors is imperative for our young people, and school grounds provide the perfect opportunity.
How can you get involved?
The ISGA is encouraging all schools to use this opportunity to engage their students in learning, play and other activities outside – for an hour, a day, or a week during International School Grounds in May.
For activity ideas, download their Activity Guide which includes a collection of 104 exciting ideas that support learning across the curriculum, promote healthy lifestyles, and encourage play and exploration during free time, before, during, and after school.
Share with us during International Schools Grounds Month
What is Circle of Life Rediscovery doing for International School Grounds Month?
Circle of Life Rediscovery is delighted to launch a new range of bespoke products and services, to develop your school grounds and support outdoor learning and Forest School.
We will be working in collaboration with Vert Woods Community Woodland (VWCW), a locally and sustainably managed community woodland, to supply sustainable wood for the products, with ‘Grown in Britain’ status.
What can we offer?
Forest School Shelters – our shelters are all bespoke, designed for each space, with your choice of tarp material and colour.
“Thank you so much for the fantastic shelter. It has completely exceeded our expectations and will provide years of enjoyment for both children and adults! Mark and Tom were helpful and efficient throughout the whole process and I would not hesitate to recommend them to other Forest Schools.”
Becky Evans, Inclusion Leader, Park Mead School.
“We are delighted with our wonderful new Forest School shelter built by Circle of Life Rediscovery. Prior to construction they came to the site to discuss our needs and offer helpful suggestions. They gave us a choice of tarpaulins to suit our requirements and explained the construction process.
They built the shelter in the holidays to avoid any term time disruption. The job was completed on the days stated, despite the appalling weather! Lots of the shelters I researched on line were more like garden buildings or outdoor classrooms. We wanted something more in keeping with our natural setting and as you can see from the photo it looks great within the woodland. It is very solidly constructed. Mark and Tom are obviously talented craftsmen and were also generous with their advice for our site. This was money very well spent. This shelter will serve our forest school well, enabling us to work with the children in all weathers. The wind on site had been a real problem with our temporary tarps. The children absolutely love it!”
Ocklynge Primary School, September 2018.
NEW products for 2019…
- Wood stores
- Picnic tables
- Fire circle/basecamp log seating
- Wooden planters
- Wildlife boxes for birds, bats or hedgehogs
- Tippy taps
Outdoor Learning Services
- Support and advice to set up and use your school grounds for outdoor learning.
- Bespoke in-house training to share inspiration and ideas for curriculum-linked outdoor activities in/around your school grounds.
- CPD courses for your staff – visit our website for details.
- Forest School Training – visit our website for details.
- Tailor made residential camps for schools and woodland days, offering the chance to gain a John Muir Award.
- Forest School Sessions at your school, nursery or at our woodland site.
Please contact us for more details on any of our products and services or call 01273 814226. We look forward to hearing from you.
Katie Scanlan – Operations Manager, Circle of Life Rediscovery.
Transforming education, health and family through nature.
Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.
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