Welcome to Nature Schools

School children Credit oliveromg Shutterstock

Credit oliveromg Shutterstock 

Welcome to Nature Schools

Red Kite Academy Trust and The Wildlife Trusts are seeking permission to open a primary school in Nuneaton.

Over the last two years, a group of people from across the Wildlife Trust movement has been exploring the establishment of Nature Schools with an ethos based on learning about, and in, the natural environment. This led to the creation of the Red Kite Academy Trust.

With the support of The Wildlife Trusts, Red Kite Academy Trust is applying to the Department for Education to open a new school, under the Free School programme. The school will be in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Nuneaton has been chosen because there is a need for new, good school places and local communities are enthusiastic about our plans for a Nature School. If we are successful, the Nuneaton Nature School could open in September 2022 or 2023,  

"Our initial consultation took place in Spring 2017 and support from the local people of Nuneaton was overwhelming. May I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support. This website will bring you up-to-date with the latest news on Nature Schools and the Red Kite Academy Trust." Ed Green, CEO, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

We are also working with existing schools that share our vision, to form a family of schools with wildlife and nature as a central part of their operations. With them, we are developing a Nature Schools curriculum that will support schools to bring more nature into their school time. This work has started in Exeter, led by Devon Wildlife Trust.

Over time, we will develop clusters of Nature Schools in Warwickshire, Devon and other places. The clusters will be able to share resources and ideas, and learn from each other.

Why are we doing this?

Education is one of The Wildlife Trusts’ charitable objects (purposes) – the reason why we exist.

There is a considerable amount of evidence that people’s lives are becoming more remote from the natural world, with significant consequences for their understanding of wildlife, wild places and natural processes, and for the value they place on them. 

“No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.” Sir David Attenborough, President Emeritus, The Wildlife Trusts

Our long track record of delivering education to hundreds of thousands of children each year has shown us the benefits of learning in a natural setting. It has also shown us that the benefits are more limited if this learning is only a one-off addition to a child’s other education.

There is a large and growing body of evidence that frequent experience of the natural world, through playing and learning outdoors, brings health, wellbeing and personal development benefits to children. Click here to read more.

We believe that using a school's local natural environment as a medium for education will improve children’s learning, and be good for them too. At the same time, we believe children's relationship with their local environment will be nurtured, strengthened and deepened.

What will a Nature School be like?

Red Kite Academy Trust will run Nature Schools that deliver an outstanding education and support every pupil to achieve their potential.

Nature Schools will teach the National Curriculum for England and Wales, and will use nature to explore, interpret and understand every aspect of the curriculum – from literacy and numeracy to science, geography, history, art, music, technology and design.

While many schools incorporate some outdoor learning into their programmes, it is nearly always limited to particular subjects. At Nature Schools, learning outside in the local environment will be central to the teaching of the curriculum. Aspects of every subject will be taught outside the classroom.

Nature Schools will connect children’s lives to the natural world and bring the many benefits of that connection to their education, health, wellbeing and personal development. Nature will run as a ‘golden thread’ through every aspect of the school’s operations and will be central to, and deeply embedded in, the school’s culture.

Nature Schools will bring wildlife, wild places and the natural world into the lives of all their pupils and staff, every day.