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Nursery pupils explore great outdoors with class in woods

Glasgow City Council claims it will improve children's health and help them learn.

Children at nurseries in Glasgow are attending a class outside each week to teach them to love the outdoors.

Scottish youngsters are among the least active in the world and the city council claims its Welly Wanderers scheme will make help children healthier.

The project, launched by deputy first minister John Swinney on Monday, involves almost 400 children at eight nurseries in Castlemilk.

Children will have one day a week where their nursery class is held outside, regardless of the weather.

The Castlemilk Outdoor Nursery programme is one of three established across the city under the partnership.

Welly Wanderers: Children spending time in the woods.
Welly Wanderers: Children spending time in the woods. STV
'For many years in Glasgow we have put a strong emphasis on taking the classroom outdoors and know that the children and staff greatly benefit.'
Glasgow City Council education convener Chris Cunningham

Glasgow City Council education convener Chris Cunningham said: "There is a growing body of research that shows that children's exposure to nature and active outdoor play improves physical and mental well-being, and can help children to develop emotionally and improve learning.

"Our aim is for outdoor nurseries to become a central part of our childcare provision and there are already plans in place to expand the programme to other areas of Glasgow.

"For many years in Glasgow we have put a strong emphasis on taking the classroom outdoors and know that the children and staff greatly benefit."

During his visit to Castlemilk Woodlands, where the children will go on their weekly outings, deputy First Minister John Swinney praised the scheme.

"We already know that learning outdoors has significant benefits for children in terms of their health and well-being," he said.

"But it is just as important, as was clear from my visit today, that the children definitely find their time exploring outdoors and learning through play great fun."

The eight nurseries taking part in Castlemilk are: Jeely Piece Nursery, Indigo Nursery, Cassiltoun Nursery, Cherry Tree Nursery, Arnwood Nursery, Machrie Nursery, Castlemilk Day Nursery and Castlemilk Family Learning Centre.

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