May I start by adding my belated wishes to you for a successful and happy New Year. I’ve been very interested in reading the recent Children Commissioner’s report as well as the latest research on the ‘nature effect’ and wanted to share my thoughts with you. I enjoy a good discussion and if you’re interested in continuing the dialogue, my team and I would love to hear from you, our contact details are below.
This is now my 17th year at Kingswood and I’ve watched the company continuously evolve, changing to meet the needs of teachers and the modern world of education. There is so much learning that can be achieved outside the classroom not only in life skills development but by bringing subjects to life, and that’s what really inspires me. I hope you enjoy our digest and we look forward to hearing from you.
Head of UK Schools
The ‘nature effect’ and how it transforms class engagement
According to new research children learn much better in outdoor environments. Apparently they are much more interested and attentive, allowing teachers to instruct uninterrupted for almost twice as long during subsequent indoor school work. This has been dubbed the ‘nature effect’ and Scientists have found striking results between pupil engagement and learning in a natural environment. Interestingly one of the lessons from primary school I remember was learning about trees and their differences.
Find out more about this research here
‘Life in likes’ the Children Commissioner’s report
It really moved me to read this research. The Children’s Commissioner’s recent report focused on social media use among 8 – 12 year olds, along with some positive comments from children including ‘it makes me laugh’ some cited more negative feedback such as, ‘at break time I would go into the school toilet to use the WiFi as there’s nothing else to do’. Gone are the days of cycling around your local neighbourhood with friends; using social media as entertainment and to feel included is the reality for many of the digital generation.
Read more about the report here
How the outdoors can help with revision
Exams are soon approaching, the pressure of achieving high grades can have a big impact on a young person’s mental health. Our charity partner ‘YoungMinds’ have produced a fantastic ‘exam self-care' guide that we really champion.
I am also a firm believer that getting outdoors during times like these reduces stress, motivates you and is an excellent way to bring subjects to life; all of which are integral to our revision programme at Kingswood.
Here are our top five ways students can use their local outdoor environments to help them succeed with revision:
1. Stay positive
To succeed in anything a positive mind-set is key. The outdoors provides the space and freedom to think more clearly and reflect
2. Re-energise and keep active
Feeling sluggish from hours of sitting at a desk isn’t going to energise the mind to remember lots of facts
3. Create a study area outdoors
Taking revision outside (weather dependant) and just by sitting on the grass on a sunny day, can make it all feel less daunting
Repeatedly studying a particular topic in the same outdoors environment can help memory recall by visualising where you were and what you studied
5. Working with your peers
Discussing subjects away from distractions in a local park can be really effective in remembering important content
National Storytelling Week competition
We’re asking young people (in Years 7 to 11) to enter our creative writing competition for their chance to win either a free day trip for their school or an adventure with friends at Kingswood Camps’ summer camps. The deadline for entries is 30th March 2018.
Read more about the report here
Fun facts for Go Green Week
We are proud investors in sustainability at Kingswood. Check out some fun facts from our activity last year: