Learning outdoors in and with nature

The NaturErliefnisSchoul is a Natur- & Geopark Mëllerdall, Naturparkschoul héich 3 and elementary school ‘Beeforter Buergfénkelcher’ pilot project set up and run by Sandra Leoni and Joëlle Renoir.

Both teachers wanted to work in partnership with the Natur- & Geopark so that schoolchildren in Beaufort would be given the opportunity to grow up with the Nature Park’s values. They were inspired by ESD 2030 Agenda (Education for Sustainable Development).

The project’s goals are:

  1. To cooperate with all interested stakeholders involved in education and the environment sector
  2. To provide guidance for teachers who would like to teach their classes outdoors
  3. To run a pilot project with Beaufort Primary School.

Thanks to this pilot project, children from three C2.2 classes are able to spend one whole morning every week being taught outside in nature, meanwhile other children are able to use this time to work with their own teacher in a small group in the classroom and benefit from more individualised teaching.

However, intensive collaboration with the teachers Cindy Marcinkowski, Patrice Petry an Laurie Scholtes from the three classes is required to achieve all this.

The project started last year in C2.1 and has continued this year in C2.2. A new development this academic year is that for one afternoon a C2.1 class is taught every week either outdoors or in the Generation Garden which is cultivated using permaculture principles.

The project‘s strengths are:

  1. that thanks to its holistic approach working with nature outdoors the project counteracts disparities among children due to special needs and also cognitive, physical and social skills;
  2. that it supports practical, cross-curricular learning outdoors in nature, based around the yearly cycle, and works in parallel with weekly classroom curriculum topics which encourages joined-up thinking;
  3. that it offers every child equal opportunities while making targeted differentiation possible;
  4. that it makes children aware from a very early age of how to interact with our environment and with nature in a respectful, responsible and considerate way which in turn helps them to become socially responsible citizens. This also has a positive impact on children’s social and emotional development.

In addition to the skills taught by the curriculum subjects, the NaturErliefnisSchoul attaches great importance to teaching children social skills, fine and gross motor skills, sensory perception and how to communicate respectfully and deal with emotions – since these will all help to ensure that the children develop into well-balanced, resilient and more confident adults.

For further information, please consult the document entitled : Konzept vun der NaturErliefnisSchoul.