The John Muir Award was created in 1997 by The John Muir Trust to encourage children and adults protect and enhance wild places in the UK. The John Muir Trust is a conservation charity that owns and manages some of the finest wild places in Britain including our highest mountain - Ben Nevis in Scotland and Helvellyn the third highest mountain in England which is in The Lake District National Park.
The children at Timberley Academy have been taking part in The John Muir Award every year since 2005. To gain the award the children have to Discover a wild place, Explore it, help to Conserve it and Share their experiences. They are also encouraged to work as a team to make a difference to the grounds of Timberley and to find out about the life and work of John Muir who was an early conservationist.
Many of the improvements around the grounds of Timberley Academy have been due to the work of children during their John Muir Awards. We have planted hundreds of trees, bulbs and wild flowers to enhance the environment for people and wildlife. It is important for children to see that they can make a positive contribution to the world around them.
Below you will see photos of the children taking part in activities to help them gain their John Muir Award this year.
For further information about the John Muir Award or to find out about the life and work of John Muir you can use the links below.
Finding out about John Muir and the John Muir Award
In the first session the children work in pairs. One child explores the Forest School area to find something interesting to show their partner. The other child finds out some interesting facts about John Muir to tell their friend. They then swap over so they both get to explore, discover and share what they have found.
Exploring Forest School
In this session the children had to explore Forest School to discover facts about the life of John Muir. They worked in pairs to answer the questions, which they found hiding up in the trees. They then shared their favourite facts when we met up at the end.
Planting Bulbs for Spring
We planted daffodils, tulips and hyacinths around the school grounds to increase the variety of insects, birds and other living things that come to visit. The word for this is 'biodiversity'. The children worked together and they will be able to watch the flowers they planted grow during the year. They can see that what they have done will make a positive difference for wildlife at Timberley Academy.
We used our senses to explore the Forest School area. Using mirrors gave us the chance to see nature from a different view point. When blindfolded we used our hands to feel the trees. We stood in silence with blindfolds on to listen to the sounds around us and discussed how it felt. We picked leaves and herbs to find out what they smelt like.
John Muir helped to set up some of the great national parks in the USA including Yosemite National Park. The idea of national parks has been copied around the world and we have a number of them in the UK such as The Lake District National Park and Snowdonia National Park. These are wild areas that provide homes for wildlife and are places of natural beauty that people can explore. In our session today the children made models of their own national parks where stones were mountains and leaves became lakes. We also had a look to see how the bulbs we planted in the autumn were growing; those by the school were coming out already!
Natural and Man Made
We looked at the natural things around us such as the daffodils we planted. The children then worked in pairs to identify all the man made objects that were hung up around Forest School. Once back at the shelter they worked together to write down all those they could remember. We discussed how man made rubbish affects our world and the children came up with some good ideas to help the environment such as picking up litter and recycling materials.
The Woodland Trust delivered 400 trees for us to plant around our grounds. This is a great way for the children to improve the environment for wildlife. They worked in pairs to plant each tree, it was hard work but they all did really well. They can see that what they have done will make a positive difference to the world around them.