Natural Curriculum

The Natural Curriculum at LJMU is a distinctive learning concept from the School of Education

Working in partnership with Mersey Forest, LJMU have developed the Natural Curriculum, which is already gaining a strong local and regional reputation. We run a professional practice hub for local schools and have successfully delivered Department for Education/Natural England funded income-generating programmes for teachers.

New one-day outdoor learning courses are available now.

Our Natural Curriculum team are launching a range of one-day practitioner courses for primary-age teachers, covering a range of subjects across the primary curriculum. Courses include, Maths in the Natural Curriculum and Design Technology in the Natural Curriculum. Courses start on 5th May and will be held in our Outdoor Learning Zone in the John Lennon Art and Design Building in Liverpool City Centre. 

Why is the Natural Curriculum important?

Children learn from every environment they’re exposed to, and here at LJMU, we’re proud to have developed our Natural Curriculum approaches to help provide enriched learning experiences for both children and our Education students. It’s something special that we think helps make our programmes stand out.

The Natural Curriculum approach to learning is based on the recognition that outdoor education benefits children’s development and wellbeing. It helps them learn key curriculum knowledge and skills alongside managing risk and building their resilience. It is also a great way for them to increase their physical activity and aid motor skills development. Other areas of expertise within the School include:

  • Technologies of learning, teaching and training
  • Relational learning
  • Professional research, practice and learning
  • Sustainability, social justice and inclusion
  • Critical pedagogies and theories for post-compulsory and informal education

How is Natural Curriculum organised at LJMU?

The School works with five key partners to determine the scope for professional learning opportunities:

  • Mersey Forest (Department for Education & Natural England funded)
  • Everton in the Community
  • St Helen’s Local Authority
  • Wirral Local Authority
  • North Liverpool Partnership

Our Natural Curriculum Outdoor Learning Zone, situated in the grounds of the John Lennon Art and Design Building, provides a safe, curated and managed area for children, students and partners to undertake a wide range of outdoor activities. We have partnerships with Nature to Nurture, Growing Sudley and independently run Forest Rangers who can deliver bespoke activities in other locations.

Student benefits

Our undergraduate students studying on all Initial Teacher Education programmes and the Education Studies suite of programmes now have opportunities to enrich their studies by taking Level 3 the Natural Curriculum Thrive in the Forest qualifications, developed in collaboration with Mersey Forest.

Students will learn from certified outdoor educators, enabling them to deliver safe and exciting outdoor learning activities with children at Key Stage 1, such as den building, creative play, safe fire lighting and foraging.

Hear from some of our second year education and primary studies students who have undertaken their certificates

Find out more

Read the Natural Curriculum blog for regular updates on our outdoor learning activities.

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