Welcome to nature schools*

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The Wildlife Trusts are seeking permission to open four primary schools in England.

A team led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is working with specialist educational consultants to create a charitable company limited by guarantee called a Multi Academy Trust (MAT). This MAT will apply to the Department for Education for permission to create four new primary schools in England.

These schools will be established through the government’s free school programme. By writing the outline for their educational philosophy, the Wildlife Trusts can influence how the schools teach their pupils. Our plan is for one school in the following locations; Chippenham in Wiltshire, Nuneaton in Warwickshire, Okehampton in Devon and Smethwick in the West Midlands.

If successful we intend to create more Nature Schools in the future.

*'Nature Schools' is a working title. The final name for the schools is yet to be decided.

Learning outside the classroom ‘contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development and can also help to combat underachievement.

Ofsted 2008

Our response is an evolution from treating nature and wildlife as a special, one-off treat within a child's education to using it as the medium through which pupils learn all academic subjects.

Ed Green, Chief Executive, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

When will this happen?

The application is being prepared right now and will be submitted in March 2017. If approved schools will open in 2018, or perhaps later depending on progress.

View our frequently asked questions page
or contact us

Why are we doing this?

We believe that using a school's local natural environment as a medium for education will improve children’s learning, and be good for them too.

View our frequently asked questions page
or contact us

What is our evidence?

There is a is a growing body of evidence to suggest that more time learning outdoors improves children’s well-being and educational performance. Ofsted believe this too.

View our frequently asked questions page
or contact us


Where will the schools be?

Chippenham, Wiltshire
Nuneaton, Warwickshire
Okehampton, Devon
Smethwick, West Midlands

How can I follow progress?

Visit this website on a regular basis or follow our social media feeds as we consult with communities on the location of the schools.


The Multi-Academy Trust.

Find out more about the Multi-Academy Trust and Governance.


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Children thrive outside, they love hugging trees and counting beetles and worms. I have lost track of the number of times that a child has said to me "this has been the best day of my life" or simply heard the word "wow".

I love using nature and the natural environment while teaching and I believe children achieve so much more when learning outdoors too.

Vicky Dunne, Education Manager, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

When the children visit us, they don’t just learn about bugs and birds, we offer maths sessions using naturally found objects to work it all out, we link to physics through play such as den building and create art using natural materials and nature as inspiration.

I find it amazing how engrossed children can get when learning outdoors. I think outdoor education is a vital part in the develpment of children of primary school age.

Katie Tiernan, Education Officer, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.