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CHILDREN'S CONNECTION WITH NATURE

Understanding children's connection with nature and how and why we should improve it.

Our planet is in crisis… this is not the way I would usually begin a research project, but these are not “normal times!” Our oceans are choking with plastic and the impact of human habitation across the globe is terrifyingly obvious.

During this global pandemic, I have been particularly struck by two things. The first is people’s innate need to reconnect with the natural world. Our superficial world of materialistic well-being has fallen apart and many of us instantly return to nature looking for connection and belonging.

The second is that our National Curriculum is not equipping children to have any meaningful understanding of the natural world and this disconnect is, undoubtedly, impacting upon the planet, as well as the mental and physical health of our children.

I recognised this to a degree, when I was teaching, but now, more than ever, I believe there needs to be real and urgent change to the curriculum if we are to have any realistic chance of raising people who genuinely care about the environment.

This project is not designed to make you feel bad or to fill you with fear - that would be a terrible thing to do. I want to excite you and interest you. I want to help you think of things you’ve never thought of before. I want to help you feel connected.  I am aware of excellent initiatives that already support children and families to learn more about nature and the world around them, and they are absolutely worth engaging with too.

This project will aim to support their work and also make real and meaningful change on a larger scale, with the hope that we can help schools embed and promote the importance of connecting with the natural world across all ages and settings.

I am not being paid for this work. This is completely my own initiative. I am a little bit scared and overwhelmed, but I need to do this. Come with me!

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How you can help

Over the course of 2021, I will be posting questionnaires on this page for you to complete. There will be all sorts of topics to explore, the first of which is animals.

It would be really helpful to me if you could complete the questionnaires on behalf of , or with, your children, and possibly do one yourself. You should be able to complete them on a laptop or device, save them with a new file name or as a PDF, and then email them back to me thedotrythisathomeschool@gmail.com

Alternatively, you could print them, write on them and photograph your responses and email them to me. (Don’t forget to recycle your paper afterwards!)

TEACHERS! I would absolutely love to hear from you too and all of your pupils. I will put together a power point and a simple answer sheet that you can use with your whole class. Please email me if you would like to take part in this way.

Thanks everyone. I will add regular updates on my social media pages as I go along. Who knows where this will lead…

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Questionnaires

This is where you should find all of the questionnaires. I will add them as I go along.