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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

TLI Research: New Erasmus+ project: natural schooling

Despite the difficult year, one piece of happier news in 2020 was our successful bid to the Erasmus+ 2020 call for a project on Natural Schooling.

The partnership for this has been led by The Learning Institute (at Westcountry Schools Trust), and included our friends and colleagues from Bromangymnasiet in Hudiksvall, Sweden, Istituto Comprensivo Via Montebello in Parma, Italy and CPI O Cruce in Cerceda, Spain.  We've all been working together on our existing project (2018) Adverse Childhood Experience and Inter-professional Working.  We are now joined in the Natural Schooling project by new colleagues at WAVE, the Multi-Academy Trust providing specialist, alternative provision in the South West of the UK.

What do we mean by ‘Natural Schooling’?

We mean the integration of “the outside” and all it has to offer in the educational experience of school age children in a more holistic and meaningful way; learning with, through and about the natural world.

Many primary schools have experimented with the Forest School concept as a way of adding new opportunities to the curriculum.  However, what could we do to weave the benefits of a greater engagement with the local environment, throughout everything that a school does? What are the opportunities for secondary settings?  How can we better engage students who are not sufficiently engaged or stimulated by the conventional classroom?  What are the challenges and obstacles to adopting this approach, but conversely, what are the efficiencies and benefits?

We are setting out on a journey to explore these issues and working towards a set of agreed Intellectual Outputs.

A key aspect of this project, as with all Erasmus work, is dissemination – we will be sharing what we do, but also seeking the input of others.  Please do get in touch to find out more or to contribute to our project by emailing