2018 WESSA Annual Review
LEARNING ABOUT FORESTS
South Africa boasts land- scapes of rich flora, divided into nine different biomes. These biomes form a significant part of the South African economy and the well-being of our peo- ple. Yet, it deteriorates every day because of human inter- ference. The LEAF programme focuses on the importance of forests. In South Africa, the programme takes a different approach because our natural forest biome has become very fragmented, covering less than 1% of our land. Instead, WESSA LEAF focuses on all nine biomes to ensure that schools across the country can respond to biodiversity challenges through project-based learning. The programme aims to reconnect communities with their natural, cultural and historical heritage while developing the necessary skills to recognise the impor- tance of our biomes. LEAF schools develop indige- nous gardens that are inspired by the biome that surrounds them. These gardens are used as an outdoor classroom to fa- cilitate practical project-based learning, and act as a safe space for learners who are academ- ically challenged. One of the benefits of the programme is its Science, Technology, Engi-
neering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) approach to learning about our natural environment. WESSA LEAF is well suited as a supporting programme for the national CAPS curriculum to assist teachers with practical and hands-on ways of engaging learners in complex STEAM con- cepts. The WESSA LEAF programme also highlights career options for learners to start developing the skills to become entrepre- neurs supporting their commu- nity and the country. The City of Tshwane has recognised the importance of the WESSA LEAF programme for their schools and communities and have partnered with us to pioneer the programme in 14 of their lo- cal schools.
In 2017/2018: 28
210 students involved. 56 teachers involved. 14 schools registered.
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