Woodland wellbeing and outdoor classroom spaces

by Michael Hutton in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

Woodland wellbeing and outdoor classroom spaces

Total raised £8,190

raised so far



Create a woodland wellbeing space and outdoor, covered teaching space, to be used as an outdoor classroom.

by Michael Hutton in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

At St. Michael's primary school, we are serious about preparing each child for life’s journeys. Environmental education, the natural world and a child’s wellbeing, play a major role in this preparation.

Our school is set in wonderful grounds, with a large outside space which is used for play and sports, both of which are important parts of a child’s development. In 2019, part of the grounds were redeveloped to provide more play space, which included space for growing pollinator friendly plants. We also have an existing and well established conservation area which includes a large pond.

Our project is to redevelop our grounds further and extend our school community garden to include covered, outdoor teaching spaces and secluded well-being areas.

This space would provide access for all children to experience growing their own food, learn about where different food comes from and the opportunity to harvest, cook and eat the produce through sustainable and organic practices:

Sowing seeds

  • teach and learn about the development of a plant
  • teach and learn about seed saving techniques and how they contribute to sustainable food production practices
  • understanding what emotions are felt when things don’t grow, learning how to deal with disappointment as well as learning about resilience, adaptation and perseverance

An outdoor teaching space to promote wellbeing and use plants and the natural world to promote the benefits of self-care:

  • Neurodiverse children have a space to relax and explore the natural world in a safe environment
  • Plants that engage the senses can be used for calming affects – especially significant for those children who have increased emotional needs
  • Teach about plants used for health
  • Herbs and other sensory plants that integrate into wellbeing and relaxation as well as the production of non-food activities

Provide access to a garden for those children who don’t have one

  • Enable children to experience an outside space that requires their care and attention
  • Allow it to become inclusive to all but personal to them, promoting ownership and responsibility as well as the gift of sharing

Be able to be open to the wider community, including other education facilities, to create better and deeper connections between the school and the local area.

  • Allow the garden to be accessed out of school hours by local community groups for wider education and wellbeing services – such as therapy groups, garden groups, local WI, scouts, or guide groups

Promote sustainability and the need to look after our natural world

Use the garden to teach about:

  • sustainable food growing practices
  • how gardens can play a huge role in looking after our natural world
  • the importance of insects and bee’s and how the garden provides food and a home for them
  • the role conversation plays in our food system

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