Children win gold for school

Children at Woodside Primary School have won a gold award for their commitment to helping the environment. 

Pupils were awarded the Green Tree Schools Award by the Woodland Trust after getting involved in a range of green activities, including tree planting, visiting a local woodland, reducing carbon emissions and recycling.

Children of all ages, from Reception to Year Six, took part and continue to have regular outdoor lessons to learn about the environment and embrace nature. 

Caroline White, the school’s Science Lead, explains: “The next generation is crucial to protecting our planet, so it’s important that children learn about the environment from a young age. Outdoor learning also has mental health benefits. We’ve found that children who are usually quieter or more reserved really come out of their shells when they go outside and are often the ones taking the lead in nature activities.” 

Caroline adds: “From increasing recycling across the school to holding a tree champion competition, the children have had so much fun working towards this award and I’m really proud of how they have embraced the challenge.”  

The Green Tree Schools initiative, which has seen more than 13,000 schools sign up since it was launched in 2008, offers the opportunity to bring the great outdoors, wildlife and green issues into the classroom.

Woodside pupil Lucilia, aged seven, says: “I love having lessons outside because you get to breathe the fresh air and learn all about nature. It’s important to look after the environment otherwise animals won’t get enough to eat.” 

Nine-year-old Eva adds: “It’s so much fun to explore. Outdoor learning makes me feel happy – once you’ve had a long class it’s nice to go outside and be with nature.” 

The Woodland Trust is dedicated to creating new woodland with help from communities and schools and protecting and restoring ancient woodland for future generations. 

Karen Letten, Woodland Trust schools and communities engagement manager, says: “The scheme promotes a range of opportunities, each designed to stimulate a child’s imagination and sustain their interest in woods and trees. The achievements of the school are recognised through an awards scheme in which they receive points for taking part in activities. As they reach milestones within the project they will receive bronze and silver certificates and then an attractive wooden plaque which acknowledges they’ve achieved the environmental accolade of a gold award. I hope Woodside will now consider going for our next accolade, the prestigious platinum award.”