The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on the natural environment or wild places. Named after John Muir, the Scots-born conservation pioneer known as the founding father of National Parks, it promotes educational, social and personal development through engagement with wild places and involvement in conservation. At Wellington, all Primary 7 pupils take part.
The aims of the award are:
- To help appreciate and value nature, urban greenspace and wild landscapes.
- To encourage awareness, understanding and responsibility for wild places.
- To promote personal development and healthy living through outdoor experiences.
- To encourage an environmental agenda – for individuals and organisations.
- To recognise and celebrate achievements of each individual.
The John Muir Award vastly differs from the traditional ‘green’ agenda by promoting adventure, personal growth, enjoyment, art, culture and creativity. Wellington pupils have taken part in a variety of activities in school grounds and urban settings, National Parks, coastlines, rivers and woodlands. They have explored topics such as sustainability, biodiversity and citizenship as well as themes surrounding the curriculum.
To achieve a John Muir Award, pupils must:
- Meet four Challenges – Discover a wild place, Explore it, Conserve it and Share your experiences.
- Show enthusiasm and commitment.
- Have an awareness of who John Muir was.
- Understand what the John Muir Award is and why they are participating.
At Wellington, the Award is used to illustrate to pupils that the environment is at the heart of adventure, learning, creativity and wellbeing. It is an integral part of the Primary 7 experience and an excellent precursor to the Duke of Edinburgh Award.