Children at Punnetts Town Community Primary School have become some of the first in the South East to complete the John Muir Award; an environmental award scheme that inspires people to connect with nature and care for wild places.
The project was run by the High Weald Partnership, a body that promotes the nationally-important landscape of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and enables its conservation and enjoyment.
The organisation already works with Punnetts Town through its High Weald Heroes education scheme for primary schools. The new High Weald-focused version of the John Muir Award will offer a more intensive programme of activity for the older children.
High Weald education officer Rachel Bennington worked with Year 6 pupils at Punnetts Town on a variety of activities over several months, including exploring a local wildflower meadow and performing a ‘Meadows Play’ to explain the importance of this vital habitat to the rest of the school. The entire class was successful in completing the award and received their certificates at a special school assembly in January (pictured above).
Catherine Winter, Head of School at Punnetts Town, said: “The John Muir Award has been an excellent addition to our outdoor learning programme. The children have learned a lot about the history, nature and wildlife in their corner of the High Weald and they now feel responsible for taking care of it, too.”
Councillor Rowena Moore, Wealden District representative for the High Weald Partnership, said: “We hope to inspire children to learn about the special qualities of High Weald landscape in their local area, so I’m delighted that we are able to offer another brilliant resource for teachers alongside our extremely popular High Weald Heroes scheme.”
The John Muir Award was established by the John Muir Trust, a charity which conserves wild land and wild places for the benefit of all. It is named after the explorer and conservationist responsible for the establishment of national parks in the USA.