This guest article has been written by Emma Homan who is an Educational Copywriter for Pentagon Play
Have you ever thought about setting up a biodiversity project in your school?
Many primary schools across the UK are doing their bit for the environment, going “pollinator friendly”, by creating a welcome habitat for minibeasts with the wealth of space that school grounds have to offer.
And it works both ways – pollinators enjoy a happy home in which to get on with their good work, and children gain a first hand educational experience of nature in all its glory!
Any school can get involved, and it’s easier than you might think to provide food, shelter and nesting sites for pollinating insects……In this article we explore why it is so beneficial for schools to join in, and some useful ideas for how to go about it.
Why Go Pollinator Friendly?
It is vital that our children, as the next generation charged with responsibility for conservation and the environment, understand the threats that exist to pollinators, what can be done to protect them, and how they can make an impact themselves.
As the UK becomes increasingly developed, and pollinators are pushed out of their natural homes, it’s down to us to create more welcoming environments for them.
“Understanding the World” is a key area of learning throughout EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Biodiversity and conservation is an important part of this. Enriching learning opportunities, where children can directly investigate and observe some of the weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit the world around us, brings learning to life.
By making their school grounds “pollinator friendly”, schools not only role model how we should be taking care of the environment, but allow their pupils to see for themselves what biodiversity and conservation are really all about.
Whether it’s plant reproduction, life cycles or ecosystems on the curriculum, all the natural resources are there for the offering.
Going pollinator friendly is a great way of brightening up the school grounds too! Beautiful seasonal plants and flowers, natural materials to entice wildlife, create inviting, relaxing and stimulating sensory areas for everyone.
Features like this are good for children on a number of levels. Reports have highlighted how “green” environments can boost mood, which ultimately benefits a child’s wellbeing, and can improve behaviour.
Schools can use sensory gardens to help children with sensory development, particularly beneficial for SEN children who have sensory processing difficulties. There really is nothing to lose and everything to gain!
How to Get Buzzy……
Turning school grounds into a pollinator haven can be as simple or as detailed as you choose. Whether you have large fields or a cosy corner to offer, pollinators will be grateful.
Here are some ideas for welcoming busy bees (of all kinds!) to your school.
So now you can get started! Going pollinator friendly is a big step towards becoming an eco-friendly school. And children and bugs alike will reap the benefits of your nature-filled school grounds for many years to come.