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The Rainbow Running Project 

Outdoor Learning across the South Downs (2013 - 2014).


The Rainbow Running Project was match-funded by the South Downs National Park 'Sustainable Communities Fund Grant'. This project culminated in a final Outdoor Learning Teacher Training day which took place at Ringmer Academy in October 2014.

This funding enabled outdoor learning opportunities for schools across and near the Park,  including Forest School, Outdoor learning Training for teachers and Outdoor Learning days.

The project has been a huge success with full take up of outdoor learning experiences across the primary and secondary schools in East Sussex – from nursery schools to Year 11 geography students.

Our popular teacher training days  inspired and provided useful ways to deliver the curriculum in the outdoors.  We achieved delivering key outdoor learning through mainstream subjects as well as fostering a deep sense of place, knowledge of plant and animals and enabling young people to act as stewards for their local environment, in particular the South Downs.

Our flagship approach to a 10 week Forest School Programme we taken up by 3 primary schools and one nursery - where every attempt was made to link school topics with the Forest School experience whilst listening to the children’s own eagerness, desire and curiosity in their learning. This had led to a growing interest for schools to make available this kind of learning with nature on a more long-term basis.

Pupils and teachers have applied all their senses to learning and have embodied concrete examples to illustrate connections in topics and subjects. Teachers reported reduced noise levels, an increased understanding of topics, awakening an interest in nature, more exercise, and fun.

Rainbow Running Project achievements:

10 Outdoor Learning days: Ringmer Primary School (Yr 4 (27 YP) & 5 (30 YP); Ringmer Community College (Year 7 (30 YP) and Year 11 (60 YP) ); Lewes New School, Lewes (Reception (23 YP); Acorn Nursery, Westmeston (Nursery – 25 YP); St.Martin’s Primary School (Year 4 (20 YP); Bourne Primary School, Eastbourne (Reception (60 YP & Year5 14 YP); Oakmeeds Community College, Burgess Hill (15 YP identified pupils); Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS – YP 10) Referral teenage group.
5 Outdoor Learning Teacher Training days: Teachers and outdoor practitioners from our county and beyond participated.
Forest School Training: 7 Forest School Trainees achieved thier Level 3 certificate in Forest School Programme Leadership.
10 week Forest school: 4 schools took up 10 week Forest school  (Lewes New School, Lewes (Reception); Laughton Primary School (Year 3 & 4); Ringmer Primary School (Year 3); Pumpkin Patch Nursery, Brighton (Nursery).

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Circle of Life Revisited Image

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