27 May 2020
Entwined with this clear environmental and sustainability focus, The Papillon Project is therefore also about aiding the well-being of children and young people while they are at school. Mental health, especially in children and young people’s lives, seems to be a very pressing issue in schools for many, often uncontrollable, reasons. The Papillion Project believes, to no surprise and from experience, that creating a school allotment, as an alternative place of learning, can greatly support schools as they tackle mental health issues by providing a place of genuine escapism for children and young people during their often busy and noisy school day.
Further to this is the idea that coming to school should not just be about tests and exams. These are very important (of course they are!), but they should not be the main experience that children and young people get while they are learning, nor should it be the only way of assessing and showing progress. Surely school should be a blend of the indoor classroom as well as the outdoor classroom too! Having a school allotment teaches and enriches children and young people with key life skills which will benefit them in every way possible as they develop as people. Only good things can come from having a school allotment and we speak from experience on this staunch belief of ours.
Creating and developing a school allotment can really spark and bloom the imaginations of children and young people and inspire them to be creative and therefore to really think to find solutions to problems. A sound alternative to game consoles and over use of smart phone and social media? We think so! We see learning and being outside as the antidote! Did you know, for example, that, 74% of UK children spend less time outdoors than the 60 minutes recommended for prison inmates? There is a real growing concern that children and young people are experiencing, what others have coined, “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Spending too much time indoors and away from nature is simply not good for human beings. Children and young people learn best when they are happy humans!