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R.E.A.L. Independent School Learners Plant Trees

In the last two weeks of the Spring term, learners from years 7-12 at R.E.A.L. Independent School (RIS) visited Goose Paddock Farm in Annesley, Nottinghamshire to help plant over 400 trees.

The trees were donated to R.E.A.L. from the Woodland Trust and funded by IKEA. They were planted to create a new woodland ecosystem on the farm and will provide new habitats for local wildlife.

The trees planted were specifically selected to be planted on a field that suffers from poor drainage in the winter months. It is hoped, that along with the addition of a new wildlife pond, that the area will become dryer to enable learners to access the area and study the diverse ecology that will eventually inhabit it.

The activity also provided an opportunity for learners to become immersed in the peaceful environment of the countryside and to benefit from the positive impact on wellbeing and mental health this can have.

Learners demonstrated some excellent soft skills vital to future employment; working collaboratively and taking charge of a number of tasks. Working with nature and planting new trees also provided a fantastic opportunity for some “camouflage learning” and led to many asking questions about the wildlife on site, how trees photosynthesise and what the aim of the activity was.

Daniel Bedward, R.E.A.L. Farming Provision Lead said: “Planting the trees was enjoyed by all learners with many asking to stay on site for a full day (although I suspect that the glorious sunshine on the days that we were there had some influence!).

“It also allowed us to quiz our year 11 learners on subjects that will be coming up on their summer biology exams – it even took them a while to realise they were still doing their science work!).”

Combining academic work with practical activities really engages and resonates with our young people – it’s what R.E.A.L. is all about.