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creative green for children
Springzaad
creative green for children

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Books

The Coombes Approach: Learning through an experiential and outdoor curriculum / Susan Rowe and Susan Humphries

2012, Continuum

Over the last 40 years the Coombes School in Berkshire, UK, has developed an international reputation for its innovative approach to Nursery and Infant teaching. In this book Sue Humphries, the founder of the school, and Sue Rowe, the former headteacher, explore the principles behind the school and how others can learn from its approach. In particular, the book focuses on the innovative use of the school’s environment as a unique ‘outdoor classroom’ and the development of a sustainable and safe environment in which pupils can play and learn.
The Coombes Approach covers a comprehensive range of topics from curriculum design, pastoral care and the wider policy and community contexts in which the school has operated. Supported by an online resource bank of pictures of the school environment and pupils’ activities, this is an essential read for school leaders seeking to learn from the successes of the Coombes School’s unique approach to teaching.

 

Smart by nature: Schooling for Sustainability / Michael K Stone

2009, Center for Ecoliteracy

Throughout the United States, a movement of educators, parents, and students is remaking K-12 education to prepare students for the future environmental challenges. What would a green school or an eco-schooling curriculum look like? Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability offers firsthand accounts and strategies for greening campuses, rethinking school food, and transforming schools into model sustainable communities. Green and healthy campuses with rooftop gardens and innovative designs are serving as living laboratories in which educators teach energy conservation, resource management, and earth sciences. Smart by Nature documents this movement through inspiring success stories from public and independent schools across the country. Practical "what you can do" checklists and pages of resources make this a twenty-first-century guide for our educational future.

 

Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation / Sharon Danks

2010, New Village Press

Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world. Intended for parents, teachers, school administrators, designers, environmentalists, and community volunteers, this book is a fantastic resource that will inspire readers to transform their own school grounds.

With this book, Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore the vibrant and growing movement to "green" school grounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting green schoolyard examples from almost 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating that a great many things are possible on school grounds when they are envisioned as outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning and play. The book's 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honey bees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features, or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide, and twirl, as well as explore the natural world first hand. The book grounds these examples in a practical framework that illustrates simple landscape design choices that all schools can use to make their schoolyards more comfortable, enjoyable and beautiful.

 

Last child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder / Richard Louv

Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation - he calls it nature-deficit - to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond - and many are right in our own backyard.

 

The Creative School: A Framework for Success, Quality and Effectiveness / Bob Jeffrey and Peter Woods

2004, Routledge

This book is about a unique school in the UK, the Coombes School. It's a school that, despite the increasing pressure put upon it by changes in the curriculum and the organisation of education, has managed to succesfully maintain the creative values that have won it international and governmental recognition. The intention of the Coombes School is to be a learning community of children and adults working in a holistic way, by integrating spiritual, moral, aesthetic, physical , social, emotional and intellectual strands in our everyday practice. The Coombes School is specifically known for its unique outdoor environment, which is used as a rich and complementary education resource.

 

Playing Outdoors: Spaces and Places, Risks and Challenge / Helen Tovey

2007, Open University Press, Berkshire, UK

What do children learn through playing outdoors? What makes an effective and challenging play space? What is a safe environment and can children be too safe? How can adults best support challenging play outdoors? Young children seek adventure and challenge in their play outdoors. They look for places they can explore and spaces they can transform. However, provision for exciting and challenging play outdoors is often restricted because of an over-emphasis on safety, and also because the value of play outdoors is not well understood. This book offers a clear rationale for why outdoor play is essential in young children's lives and learning. It asks fundamental questions about what sort of environments we want for young children, as well as examining controversial issues of risk and safety.The author identifies key principles underpinning the design of challenging outdoor play environments and examines how children use and transform space to create their own imaginary worlds. The essential role of the adult in supporting and extending children's free play is examined and implications for practice identified.This book makes an important contribution to current debates on risk, safety and challenge in outdoor environments for young children. It brings together research from a range of different disciplines, as well as illustrative examples of children's play and talk outdoors. 'Playing Outdoors' is inspiring reading for early childhood practitioners, students, play workers, parents, policy makers and all those seeking to develop challenging outdoor play areas.

 

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