Written by Northampton High School.
The digital revolution is very much here. The impact of advancing technology is improving our day to day living and we can see it everywhere we go. But at what cost?
The term ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ – coined by American author, Richard Louv, in 2005 – has now been widely taken up to describe the detrimental effects, on physical and mental health, of children’s disengagement from nature. The stats paint a stark and concerning picture – with a third of under-16s being overweight or obese and an ‘epidemic of mental illness’ afflicting the young (leading to around 35,000 children in England being prescribed anti-depressants). In response, many organisations, such as the National Trust, have taken up the cause of re-engaging children with the Great Outdoors.
Schools and Nurseries are, of course, crucial to the success this endeavour. Forest School is a brilliant starting point. Much more than an outdoor education programme, it is a fully integrated and structured programme of activities, underpinned by a wealth of research and risk assessment and combining elements of bushcraft, skills-building, adventure, environmental awareness, character education and personal well-being. Continue reading