A new scheme launched at a primary school in Croydon is "helping students develop self-confidence, creativity, and independence".

Greenvale Primary School, on Sandpiper Road, has rolled out a project that is split into two strands: Forest School & Outdoor Learning, and Green@Greenvale.

It's part of the school's efforts to support disadvantaged children and promote sustainability, and the aim is to restore the skills that were impacted by the pandemic and foster improving progress among the children.

The project has targeted disadvantaged and SEN learners at Greenvale Primary School and more than half of the children taking part have fallen into one of more those categories.

The second strand is the Green@Greenvale curriculum, which promotes sustainability in school, and it is included in different subjects and everyday activities.

Alastair Crow, a teacher at Greenvale Primary School, told Your Local Guardian: “Sweden is one of the world leaders when it comes to sustainability, and we have a lot to learn from them in this regard. 

“As teachers, some of us have been lucky enough to visit schools in Sweden as part of a previous project and teachers from Sweden have visited our school in return. 

“This really drove home to us that our children could learn a lot from visiting these schools and seeing for themselves the small changes they have made to make their schools more sustainable. 

“This ties in nicely with Outdoor Learning and Forest School as they are learning to look after our school environment too. 

“This learning will be brought back to Greenvale after the trip to Sweden to share with the rest of our school as well as the wider community.” 

Alastair explained that the idea for the project was based on the issues they identified on their school.

They noticed that a large number of students were struggling with positive learning behaviours, lacked self-confidence, independence, and creativity.

In the Outdoor Learning scheme, children take part in different activities, including making bird feeders, weaving peg looms, woodworking projects, and creating musical instruments.

In the sustainability section, Greenvale Primary School have a weekly podcast where children take part in a quiz about an aspect of sustainability and what they know already.

Alastair said: “This has been wonderful as it proves just how much on an impact our Green@Greenvale curriculum is having - they have really impressed us with their knowledge.

“After Easter, we will be running a series of workshops with the whole group in the lead up to the trip in May, focussing on what are the problems and concerns with the environment at the moment, what we are currently doing at Greenvale to help, and what more we could learn from Sweden. 

“As part of this, we will be finding out about Greta Thunberg and her campaigning, about the extensive recycling programs that take place in Sweden and thinking about how we are going to share what we have learnt when we return.

“After the trip to Sweden, the children involved in the project will become Eco Ambassadors and will be able to share what they have learnt, not just with our school community, but with other schools in our local area.”