Every child should connect to nature

3rd October 2017

Helen Wheelan from Cape Town Environmental Education Trust shares insight into the importance of connecting more children to nature in South Africa, and how they celebrated Outdoor Classroom Day.

Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) is a NPO based in South Africa. We have been running outdoor programmes and camps since 2001. Our campaign is ‘Changing Lives Through Nature’. We believe that every child should have a chance to connect to nature and develop a passion for the environment.

Celebrating Outdoor Classroom Day

To celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day on the 18th May, CTEET facilitated lessons with environmental clubs from schools on the Cape Flats in Cape Town – Hillwood Primary, Sid G Rule Primary, Strandfontein Primary and Rocklands Primary.

Fig. 1: Learners from Rocklands Primary being shown an Endangered Western leopard toad by CTEET Eco-Schools Officer, Taryn van Neel.

The outdoor classrooms focused on encouraging the pupils to interact more with their environment and to take an interest in nature. The learners were taught about the importance of water, learning about why we need to save water and how it affects our biodiversity. They were exposed to different birds found in eco-systems around them and how different animals fit into a food chain, each playing an important role.

Learning about water-wise lifestyles

Cape Town is now under Level 4 water restrictions and the need for water-wise lifestyles is becoming more and more necessary. Learners were shown how to implement grey-water drip-systems in their school gardens. This practical session involved planting a 2L bottle next to a tree or shrub in the garden, with holes around the bottom. This bottle is then filled with grey-water, and the cap closed. This ensures slow release of re-used water, limiting evaporation and delivering water directly to the root. Learners bring grey-water from their homes and collect from around the schools to use in this system.

Fig.2: Abongile Madyolo showing the Strandfontein Primary School learners how to install the grey-water bottles.

CTEET Educators also had a show-and-tell session with an endangered Western leopard toad and a Marsh terrapin – an exciting highlight for the learners!

 

GET INVOLVED!

If you would like to participate in Outdoor Classroom Day, register your class or whole school, and share your day’s activities on social media using #OutdoorClassroomDay.

 

 

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Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!!!

Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!!!

Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!

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