Welcome to nature schools*

From left to right, Andrew Gabbitas, Cathy Wilson, Ed Green, Hilary Seaward, Paul Stone and Sue Waite plus Ian Carter. Copyright Leanne Manchester (The Wildlife Trusts)

Latest news

27 June 2017
The first meeting of the Red Kite Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) board took place last week in London.
From left to right, Andrew Gabbitas, Cathy Wilson, Ed Green, Hilary Seaward, Paul Stone and Sue Waite plus Ian Carter.

News

31 May 2017
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. After considerable hard work, we are now able to announce the creation of the Red Kite Academy Trust.

Due to the announcement of the forthcoming General Election, our submission to the Department for Education to allow the Academy Trust to establish its first four Nature Schools has been delayed. We now expect to submit our application this autumn.

Support from the general public has been overwhelming, with the proposed schools attracting nationwide media attention during the public consultation stage. Over 150 people also came forward to offer their assistance in the governance of individual schools once these are established, or as trustees and subscribing members of the Academy Trust itself.

May I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support over the last few months. I hope you will return to this web page later in the year for the latest news on Natures Schools and the Red Kite Academy Trust.

Ed Green CEO, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Copyright oliveromg/Shutterstock

The Wildlife Trusts are seeking permission to open four primary schools in England.

A team led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is working with specialist educational consultants to create a charitable company limited by guarantee called a Multi Academy Trust (MAT). This MAT will apply to the Department for Education for permission to create four new primary schools in England.

These schools will be established through the government’s free school programme. By writing the outline for their educational philosophy, the Wildlife Trusts can influence how the schools teach their pupils. Our plan is for one school in the following locations; Chippenham in Wiltshire, Nuneaton in Warwickshire, Okehampton in Devon and Smethwick in the West Midlands.

If successful we intend to create more Nature Schools in the future.

*'Nature Schools' is a working title. The final name for the schools is yet to be decided.

Learning outside the classroom ‘contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development and can also help to combat underachievement.

Ofsted 2008

Our response is an evolution from treating nature and wildlife as a special, one-off treat within a child's education to using it as the medium through which pupils learn all academic subjects.

Ed Green, Chief Executive, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

When will this happen?

The application is being prepared right now and will be submitted in March 2017. If approved schools will open in 2018, or perhaps later depending on progress.

View our frequently asked questions page
or contact us

Why are we doing this?

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.

View our frequently asked questions page
or contact us

What is our evidence?

There is a is a growing body of evidence to suggest that more time learning outdoors improves children’s well-being and educational performance. Ofsted believe this too.

View our frequently asked questions page
or contact us


Where will the schools be?

Chippenham, Wiltshire
Nuneaton, Warwickshire
Okehampton, Devon
Smethwick, West Midlands

How can I follow progress?

Visit this website on a regular basis or follow our social media feeds as we consult with communities on the location of the schools.


The Multi-Academy Trust.

Find out more about the Multi-Academy Trust and Governance.


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Children thrive outside, they love hugging trees and counting beetles and worms. I have lost track of the number of times that a child has said to me "this has been the best day of my life" or simply heard the word "wow".

I love using nature and the natural environment while teaching and I believe children achieve so much more when learning outdoors too.

Vicky Dunne, Education Manager, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

When the children visit us, they don’t just learn about bugs and birds, we offer maths sessions using naturally found objects to work it all out, we link to physics through play such as den building and create art using natural materials and nature as inspiration.

I find it amazing how engrossed children can get when learning outdoors. I think outdoor education is a vital part in the develpment of children of primary school age.

Katie Tiernan, Education Officer, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.