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2009 is turning into a year of celebrations. In the last three years, BBC Breathing Places has encouraged over 10 million people in the UK to make a real difference for wildlife, and since it was launched just one year ago the BBC Breathing Places Schools project has played a significant part in this ongoing success. A staggering 8,616 schools have now signed up, and are receiving free, simple and fun teaching resources and activity ideas.
Through the project, huge numbers of children have been getting closer to nature and have started to transform their schools into wildlife-friendly places. BBC Breathing Places has joined forces with the RSPB and partnered with 42 other like-minded wildlife and conservation organisations across the UK, to make this the best possible project for young people.
And there’s still time to get involved. Primary, middle and special schools are all invited to take part in ‘Doing One Thing’ for nature each term – such as planting seeds, making homes for mini-beasts, and this term creating homes for all kinds of wildlife in their very own ‘wildlife walls’.
All schools have to do is register online at www.bbc.co.uk/breathingplaces/schools and they’ll be sent everything they need to get started. The activities are flexible, so they can be part of a lesson or a lunchtime club, and they’re a great way of encouraging learning outside the classroom. There are quick and simple links to the curriculum, as well as links to further activities from a range of partners.
It’s a chance for a single class or even the whole school to get out and get involved with the wildlife in their grounds, whether in an urban, suburban or rural setting. And the good news is it’s never been easier – as each term, schools can download new teachers’ notes and activity sheets from the BBC Breathing Places website.
“Breathing Places Schools has been a really good source of practical ideas and encouragement, and we are looking forward to wildlife gardening into the future,” said Alison Hadfield, Year Three Teacher, Brighton and Hove High School.
BBC Breathing Places Project Executive Karen Gregory said: "This year we plan to celebrate the huge achievements of the BBC Breathing Places schools – bringing to light stories about the fantastic work going on across the UK, and inspiring even more children and schools to get involved and create their very own special places for wildlife, and also for themselves.”
Andy Simpson, RSPB Head of Youth and Education, said: “Breathing Places Schools brings the best ideas from the best natural history experts, direct to teachers across the UK, making enthusing children about nature easier than ever.”