Improve access to outdoor and green spaces that inspire physical activity, support wellbeing and a connection with nature

Dr Sarah MacQuarrie and Dr Alexandra Hennessey, Manchester Institute of Education (MIE)

Dr Sarah MacQuarrie and Dr Alexandra Hennessey

Dr MacQuarrie is a psychologist whose work focuses on education. She is a recognised leader at the forefront of research involving nature-based learning in early years and primary education, and school-based outdoor learning. She has produced multiple publications to inform debates and discussions. 

Dr Hennessey's research focuses on school-based social and emotional wellbeing, their impact on learning, and how we can facilitate and support the development of children and young people in education settings. Her expertise is in large-scale experimental and quasi-experimental intervention trials, school-based evaluations, and mixed-methods approaches. 

For psychological wellbeing in children and young people, every child, teacher, parent and care giver needs access to environments that enrich their physical health, including for physical activity. We need to support all those invested in children, young people and education to recognise the connection between physical activity, wellbeing and mental health for all children, young people and their teachers.

Now is the time to...

  • enhance investment in research aimed at unravelling the significance of settings, environments, and spaces in fostering the health and well-being of children and young people;
  • support teachers to connect with researchers to fuel insights across this interdisciplinary area;
  • clarify complex terminology within this field to ensure accessibility for all audiences.

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Read more about research in the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE) at The University of Manchester.