Be In Nature allows students to have regular opportunities to go outdoors to explore, learn and connect with nature. This practice is scheduled during instructional time to increase opportunities and time to be and to learn outdoors.
Through this practice, students will be able to regularly:
- be outdoors (school grounds on short walks around the school),
- breathe fresh air,
- practice physical health,
- interact with their peers (social learning),
- and self-regulate (calm) by being outdoors.
How it can become part of everyday school life
The first groups of teachers and students who are part of the WellAhead project to learn outdoors (maybe once a week or once a day), will reflect on and record benefits and challenges. The data will then influence and alter our practice in short feedback loops so we can aim to improve the experience and outcome.
- Builds a sense of caring for environment and self-regulation, building core competencies of social responsibility and personal awareness & responsibility.
Communication, Thinking, Personal and Social
- Could be used to share ‘Big Ideas’ and deliver content as a part of Math, Art, Science, Social Studies lessons that lend themselves to being outdoors (hearing walks, grid mapping, weather, clouds, diameter, reading, sketching under a tree….).
- Be in Nature is one way to authentically incorporate Aboriginal worldviews and perspectives by connecting and supports engagement with the land, nature, and the outdoors.
- The Ministry of Education has Environmental Learning resources
- Be GREEN schools project examples
- Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom
- Walking in nature increases attention and performance on cognitive tests among university students (Berman et al, 2008)
- Exposure to nature is related to a more optimistic outlook on life, reduced stress, and an improved ability to cope and buffer stressful life events (Maller et al, 2006)
- Exposure to the natural environment can improve self-regulation among children with attention problems (Taylor and Kuo, 2009)
 Marc G. Berman, John Jonides, and Stephen Kaplan, “The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature,” Psychological Science 19, no. 12 (2008): 1207–12.
 Cecily Maller et al., “Healthy Nature Healthy People: ‘contact with Nature’ as an Upstream Health Promotion Intervention for Populations,” Health Promotion International 21, no. 1 (March 1, 2006): 45–54, doi:10.1093/heapro/dai032.
 Andrea Faber Taylor and Frances E. Kuo, “Children With Attention Deficits Concentrate Better After Walk in the Park,” Journal of Attention Disorders 12, no. 5 (March 1, 2009): 402–9, doi:10.1177/1087054708323000.