Cardiff Council is to receive a total of €97,200 (£68,282) of Erasmus+ European funding over two years to help a consortium of 18 schools develop the Forest Schools programme in Wales.
Forest Schools encourages outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment. The funding received is to develop and share expertise in Forest Schools as part of an Erasmus+ Key Action 1 School staff mobility project.
The two-year project ‘Inspiring Outdoor Learning - a vision for Schools in South Wales’ is the first of its kind to be run in the South Wales area.
Eighteen schools across seven local authorities will come together to improve the quality of teaching when delivering the Forest Schools programme in Wales. Teachers will form a regional network and take part in a series of training programmes in Denmark and Iceland. Teaching materials and ideas for outdoor learning will also be developed and shared with professionals throughout Wales.
Emily Daly from Cardiff Council said: “This project will be the start of some very exciting work between 18 schools from seven different councils. It is the perfect opportunity for the 49 participating teachers to share ideas and experiences, meeting the Welsh Government’s objective to widen peer-to-peer working across schools.”
Jenny Scott, director of British Council Wales, said: “Cardiff Council’s success is very welcome, we want to see more Welsh schools benefitting from Erasmus+ funding. We hope that the funding for the Forest Schools project will inspire other school leaders to investigate how their schools might also benefit from the Erasmus+ programme.”
Cwmaman Infants, Maes-y-Coed Primary School, Tredegarville Church in Wales Primary School, Fairoak Nursery and Lansdowne Primary School are all schools with no green spaces, so staff will be looking at ways in which they can develop creative and innovative curriculum activities.
Staff from Dolau Primary School, Gilwern Primary School, Millbrook Primary School, St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School, and Roath Park Primary School will be focusing on developing literacy and numeracy as part of the project.
Under the guidance of trained Forest School teachers, staff from St Fagans Church in Wales Primary School, Ysgol y Wern, Ysgol y Pwll Coch, Ysgol y Melin Gruffydd, Evenlode Primary School, Heronsbridge, Grangetown Nursery and Ysgol Penalltau will examine the ideas behind Forest Schools and the important role outdoor learning plays in the curriculum. They will also learn new skills on delivery and how to make Forest Schools part of their schools.
Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. The programme focuses on formal and informal learning across EU borders to boost skills and employability and modernise education, training and youth work.The British Council manages the Erasmus+ programme in the UK, in partnership with Ecorys UK, and has based its hub in its Cardiff office where over 50 people are employed on the programme.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact Alison Cummins at British Council Wales on 029 2092 4334 or Alison.Cummins@britishcouncil.org
The Erasmus+ website provides more information about funding opportunities.
Lansdowne Primary School
Roath Park Primary School
St Fagans Church in Wales Primary School
Tredegarville Church in Wales Primary School
Ysgol y Melin Gruffydd
Ysgol y Pwll Coch
Ysgol y Wern
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School
Gilwern Primary School
Millbrook Primary School
Rhondda Cynon Taf
Cwmaman Infants, Aberdare
Dolau Primary School
Maes-y-Coed Primary School, Pontypridd
Vale of Glamorgan
Evenlode Primary School, Penarth
Erasmus+ is the new European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It significantly increases EU funding (+40%) with an overall budget of €14.7 billion (£12 billion) for the development of knowledge and skills and aims to increase the quality and relevance of qualifications and skills. Two-thirds of its funding will provide grants for more than 4 million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad in 2014-2020 (compared with 2.7 million in 2007-2013). The period abroad can range from a few days up to a year. In the UK, it is expected that nearly 250,000 people will undertake activities abroad with the programme. Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of Lifelong Learning, including schools education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector. Erasmus+ provides funding for organisations to offer opportunities to students, teachers, apprentices, volunteers, youth leaders and people working in grassroots’ sport. It will also provide funding for partnerships between organisations such as educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs, as well as support for reforms in Member States to modernise education and training and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability. Erasmus+ replaces the former Erasmus, Comenius, Youth in Action, Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes which ran from 2007-2013.
When referring to Erasmus+, please use the phrase `The Erasmus+ UK National Agency is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK’.
Further information from www.erasmusplus.org.uk
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