Okehampton has been put forward as the proposed location for the South West’s first Nature School. The town has been identified as an area where there is a real need for more primary school places and as a potential area for a new Nature School.
Ofsted have reported that learning outside the classroom contributes significantly to raising standards and improving pupils personal, social and emotional development. A Nature School would put outdoors learning and the natural environment at the heart of a high quality education for local children.
“Each year Devon Wildlife Trust supports many thousands of school children to learn through nature. Our plan to open a Nature School is rooted in our experience that children thrive, are happier and their attainment improves when their learning is linked closely to the natural world around them. The positive feedback we receive from the teachers, students and parents we work with is supported by an impressive body of independent research.
We hope that Okehampton will become the first community in Devon to benefit from a Nature School. The town has a fascinating history and is surrounded by wonderful countryside, with rivers, parklands and woodlands, and all within a stone’s throw of Dartmoor National Park. I can’t think of a better place for a Nature School, and I really look forward to working with teachers and the local community to make it a success” - Harry Barton, Chief Executive, Devon Wildlife Trust.
Conversations are currently underway with local authorities and local schools in Okehampton about the proposed new school. We are now seeking support from members of the community across Okehampton, in particular from parents whose children would be eligible to attend primary school in 2018 or 2019 who live in the Okehampton area or nearby.
If you would like to register your support, please complete the form below. We will keep you up-to-date with developments and let you know the date for our one-day public consultation session where you will have the opportunity to speak face to face with members of the Nature Schools team who will be very happy to talk to you and answer any of your questions or concerns.
Photo © 2017 Charlie Tyjas, Devon Wildlife Trust
Approximate location for the proposed new Nature School at Okehampton
Each year Devon Wildlife Trust supports many thousands of school children to learn through nature. Our plan to open a Nature School is rooted in our experience that children thrive, are happier and their attainment improves when their learning is linked closely to the natural world around them.
Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.