Pupils from primary schools across England and Wales are getting closer to nature thanks to an exciting partnership between the RSPB and Aldi.

Rizwan, a Y3 student from Oldham, exclaimed, "I'm not scared any more — I’ve never held a worm before and I thought it'd bite me but it just tickles!"

The new free outreach sessions, currently available in 11 cities across the UK, see RSPB trained educators going into primary schools and working with teachers and pupils in their school grounds to deliver a series of fun and engaging outdoor activities. Watch our promotional video to find out what teachers have to say about the outreach sessions:

The three-year partnership will see Aldi donate all profits from its carrier bag sales to the RSPB. Money raised will allow the RSPB and Aldi to work together to provide opportunities for more than half-a-million children to engage with nature. It will also help improve children's health and well-being while inspiring them to love and understand the natural world.

RSPB’s Schools Outreach Development Officer, Janet Watt said “Children across the country are loving getting out into their playgrounds and discovering spiders and slugs in all the hidden corners. UK wildlife is in serious trouble: around 60 per cent of bees, birds, bugs and mammals are declining and the natural places they depend on are vanishing. Engaging the next generation with nature is vital. Our partnership will help to give nature a home in school grounds and local green spaces that will help turn the fortunes of UK wildlife around”.

Currently, schools in 11 cities across the UK can choose from three 90 minute sessions; delivered by fantastic teams of trained educators:

 

Giving Nature a Home — helps pupils map and score their school grounds for nature, identifying habitats that already exist and spotting opportunities for creating more.

Bioblitz — encourages pupils to hunt for plants and minibeasts under every rock, bush and doormat.

Big Schools' Birdwatch - using ID guides and binoculars, pupils will identify and record the birds they spot around their school.

 

After a Giving Nature a Home session in Bournemouth the class teacher enthused, “Thank you for a great day. It fitted in perfectly with our topic and engaged the children well.  They really enjoyed the experience of  looking closely at the environment around the school building. The session was well -resourced and the RSPB were excellent!

To see if your city is offering Aldi-funded outreach and to book a free 90 minute session for your school please visit rspb.org.uk/schoolsoutreach

If your part of the country doesn't yet have free RSPB outreach please remember that Big Schools' Birdwatch is open to every single school as a self-guided citizen-science opportunity. Sign up your school here.