What is LEAF?

A brief introduction to the international Learning About Forests programme.

What is LEAF?

LEAF is a fun, bitesize programme that exists within the wider Eco-Schools award. It’s designed to give Early Years and KS1 people a deeper connection to the green spaces around them – from local forests and woodlands, to parks and gardens, to the biodiversity in their learning setting.

LEAF challenges young people to choose and complete 3 of our outdoor activities across an academic year. This work can then be used as evidence to apply for your Eco-Schools award, in particular, as part of your Biodiversity topic work. You can note in your Eco-Schools application that you have completed 3 LEAF activites, add information on the work that you did, and receive a certificate of achievement to print and present in their settings.

The programme blends subjects, skills and learning approaches to form an accessible and positive entry to nature for curious young minds.

Who is LEAF for?

LEAF is ideal for:

  • Nurseries
  • SEND providers
  • KS1

Why should we do the LEAF programme?

As well as providing evidence for your Eco-Schools Green Flag application, the LEAF programme is proven to:

  • Develop positive and curious attitudes towards local nature
  • Increase knowledge about the ways that nature connects to our lives
  • Empower young people to take responsibility for local nature

To learn more about LEAF, the themes that activities connect to, and the history of the programme at LEAF Global.

How does LEAF Work?

LEAF is a simple and easy programme to deliver, just follow these steps.

  1. Open an Eco-Schools application.
  2. Across an academic year, alongside your other Eco-Schools work, complete 3 of the LEAF activities with your group.
  3. Keep a track on your activities
  4. Between May 1st and July 31st, add information about your LEAF work to your Eco-Schools application.

The LEAF Activities

To deliver the LEAF programme and qualify for the LEAF Award, your group must choose and complete 3 of the following activities. Each activity has it’s own resource pack to support delivery.

Activity 1: Forest Tales

This activity prompts young people to explore forest and woodlands-set tales. It then challenges them to visit a local forest or woodlands, absorb the ambience and gather inspiration, before producing their very own forest and woodlands-set tales.

View and download the resource pack here.

Activity 2: Nature is Art

This activity prompts young people to explore a local green space, before turning it into a temporary pop-up exhibition. They will create a record of the trees, plants and wildlife that they find before producing their own interpretation panels. To finish the project, pupils will add their creations to the site and host their own viewing event.

View and download the resource pack here.

Activity 3: Build an Animal Habitat

This activity prompts young people to identify which animals are common on their site, before creating a habitat for one of them. Finally, they can use this as a great way to observe and record wildlife activity.

View and download the resource pack here.

Activity 4: Grow Your Own Grub

This activity prompts young people to put their green fingers to work and grow their own grub! They’ll sow, plant, and harvest a selection of vegetables of their choosing, before getting creative and turning these raw ingredients into yummy recipes.

View and download the resource pack here.

Activities 5: Get to Know a Tree

This activity – or 6 mini activities – prompts young people to explore and experiment, unearthing hidden information about a local tree before pulling this all together to form a profile of their new leafy pal.

View and download the resource pack here.

Applying for the LEAF Award

Application for the LEAF award now exists within the Eco-Schools application.

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