What if London was a National Park City

Click here for a short video What if London was a National Park City

Making London a National Park City is a great idea. Celebrating what communities have already achieved in London, it’s a long-term, large-scale vision to make the capital greener, healthier, more enjoyable and prosperous.

This first of five videos explains what the London National Park City idea is all about. Subscribe now. We’ll be publishing more videos soon.

Visit our website to get involved and help make it happen.


Join us on September 21 for a landmark community event at Southbank to explore how and why it should happen. Hosted by Josie Long, speakers include designer Wayne Hemingway, campaigner Fiona Reynolds, firefighter Simon Jakeman, as well as the Bollywood Brass Band, artists and poets. You can expect an evening of entertaining performances, provocative ideas and proactive thinking.


We need your help to make London a National Park City. London can become a National Park City once at least two-thirds (436) of London’s 654 wards and the Mayor of London have declared their support. The good news is that the Mayor of London and over 200 wards have already declared their support. We now need to recruit the support of 200 more! Live or work in London? Visit our website to find out how you can help.

This film was created by the Greater London National Park City Initiative and made with support from the National Geographic Society.

Director: Mark Chaudoir
Creative Director: Judy Ling Wong CBE
Producer: Siôn Elis Williams
Executive producer: Daniel Raven-Ellison

“Let’s make London the world’s first National Park City. A city where people and nature are better connected. A city that is rich with wildlife and every child benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors. A city where we all enjoy high-quality green spaces, the air is clean to breathe, it’s a pleasure to swim in its rivers and green homes are affordable. Together we can make London a greener, healthier and fairer place to live. Together we can make London a National Park City. Why not?”


Psychologists recommend children be bored in the summer

It’s important for kids to learn how to entertain themselves. (Reuters/ Lucas Jackson)

Do you entertain your kids with chess camp, art school, cooking classes, or tennis lessons during the unstructured summer months? Or perhaps all of them?

There are activities and summer schools galore to fill children’s time and supply much needed childcare when kids are out of school. But psychologists and child development experts suggest that over-scheduling children during the summer is unnecessary and could ultimately keep kids from discovering what truly interests them.

“Your role as a parent is to prepare children to take their place in society. Being an adult means occupying yourself and filling up your leisure time in a way that will make you happy,” says Lyn Fry, a child psychologist in London with a focus on education. “If parents spend all their time filling up their child’s spare time, then the child will never learn to do this for themselves.”

Fry is not the only one to point out the benefits of boredom. Dr. Teresa Belton, visiting fellow at the University of East Anglia with a focus on the connection between boredom and imagination told the BBC that boredom is crucial for developing “internal stimulus,” which then allows true creativity.

And though our capacity for boredom may well have diminished with all the attractions of the internet, experts have been discussing the importance of doing nothing for decades.

In 1993, psychoanalyst Adam Phillips wrote that the “capacity to be bored can be a developmental achievement for the child.” Boredom is a chance to contemplate life, rather than rushing through it, he said in his book ‘on kissing, Tickling and being bored: Psychoanalytic essay on the unexamined life”It is one of the most oppressive demands of adults that the child should be interested, rather than take time to find what interests him. Boredom is integral to the process of taking one’s time,” added Phillips.

Fry suggests that at the start of the summer, parents sit down with their kids—at least those above the age of four—and collectively write down a list of everything their children might enjoy doing during their break. These can be basic activities, such as playing cards, reading a book, or going for a bicycle ride. They could also be more elaborate ideas such as cooking a fancy dinner, putting on a play, or practicing photography. Then, if your child comes to you throughout the summer complaining of boredom, tell them to go and look at the list.

“It puts the onus on them to say, ‘This is what I’d like to do,” says Fry.

While there’s a good chance children might mope around for a while and be bored, it’s important to realise that this isn’t wasted time.

“There’s no problem with being bored,” says Fry. “It’s not a sin, is it? I think children need to learn how to be bored in order to motivate themselves to get things done. Being bored is a way to make children self-reliant.”

This same theory was put forward in 1930 by philosopher Bertrand Russell, who devoted a chapter of his book“The conquest of happiness”to the potential value of boredom. Imagination and capacity to cope with boredom must be learnt as a child, he wrote.

“A child develops best when, like a young plant, he is left undisturbed in the same soil. Too much travel, too much variety of impressions, are not good for the young, and cause them as they grow up to become incapable of enduring fruitful monotony.”

From – http://qz.com/704723/to-be-more-self-reliant-children-need-boring-summers/

Thanks to :https://playandotherthings.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/psychologists-recommend-children-be-bored-in-the-summer/




London School children Draw a Red Line for the Climate

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Commuters along one of South London’s busiest rail links have an ambitious new piece of public art to contemplate thanks to children from Christ Church Primary School SW9, who are drawing attention to the effects of climate change.

Sitting on the roof top of local restaurant ‘Olley’s Fish Experience’, the 3 meter tall sculpture is made of salvaged wood and depicts a hand holding a pencil, drawing a red line that symbolises the threshold between life as we know it and irreversible global warming. A red line of fabric embellished with recycled flowers encircles the sculpture on the roof and continuing to the street.

The inspiration came from demonstrations at last year’s historic global climate change summit in Paris where huge red ribbons were held aloft over the heads of a moving procession of people to ‘draw a line to protect our climate.’

The installation of the sculpture marks the beginning of a project measuring air pollution near to the school; the aim is to collect scientific data which can be used to engage with the local council about possible ways to improve air quality and to explore how communities can come together to help address climate change.

Every child in the school, from 4 to 11 years old, has contributed to creating this dynamic sculpture with their artist in residence Hannah Littlejones and their lead of outdoor learning Jules Rogers

She explained: “This is about giving children an opportunity to make a large scale public art work to be a focal point for a dialogue about their environment, present and future”.

Outdoor air pollution contributes to about 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK, according to a 2016 report by the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Harry Niazi, owner of Olley’s Fish Experience says: “It’s great to see and hear that these school children care about their future and are aware about the impact climate change can have on their local environment in a way that we never did at their age. Olley’s is very proud to be associated with the project and is keen to embrace their message.The sculpture is so eye-catching and by installing it on the rooftop at Olley’s means many more people will be able to see it, which will help spread the word.”

“Children can’t vote, but they are disproportionately affected by air pollution and climate change. We hope to inspire more families and schools to get active on one of the defining issues of our time ” says collaborator Katy Obregon of Get Loud for the Climate.

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Forest Schools and Outdoor Learning Leader

Christ Church is a dynamic school with a proven track record of delivering an excellent outdoor education for our pupils. We have joined with St. Andrews CE Primary School to become part of the SW9 Partnership.

We are currently looking for someone to join our team to continue the fantastic work that our outgoing Outdoor Learning Leader has done.

click on the link below for further information

Outdoor Learning advert June 2016 (2)

Empty Classroom Day

The Empty Classroom Day was created in 2012 in London by Anna Portch with the support of teachers and educators at London Sustainable Schools Forum to encourage schools to learn outside and to celebrate all the great environmental education happening in London. Then the Project Dirt – the green social network – played a leading role promoting the day.

Empty Classroom Day
The idea is simple – schools sign up to say that one class will spend one lesson outdoors on the day, however many schools do a lot more!

Natural Thinkers in the park

The first of three Natural Thinker sites set up in parks around the borough, hosted a session on survival technics including fire lighting, den building, whittling and several amazing team games.

These sites are available to Natural Thinker approved schools in the area to use throughout the week to enhance their outdoor provision.

Above:- The Spinney at Clapham Common.  Below:- The Lodge at Streatham Common

Patrick Dougherty, inspiration for year 3

Year 3 have been looking at the work of stick sculpture artist Patrick Dougherty. He uses sticks to weave structures of a monumental scale, which required saplings by the truckloads. Over the last thirty years, he has built over 250 of these works, and become internationally acclaimed. His sculpture has been seen worldwide—from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.

Year 3 have completed maquette’s (see previous post) in preparation for our big build in a few weeks time.

Year 5’s Amazing Mosaics


These 4 circular panels have been a collaboration with year 5 pupils in Art and Outdoor learning.
We made close observations of flower heads and created clay relief tiles, which were painted and glazed so they could go outside.
The children’s handmade tiles were mixed with glass square tiles to make these beautiful panels to brighten up our entrance corridor outside.

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