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Nature Days will be putting on regular teacher training events to help support teachers and teaching assistants in becoming more confident with outdoor learning

I have created a teacher training package which will provide you with all the skills you need to embed effective, meaningful, impactful outdoor learning in your school.

These sessions are suitable for school leaders in outdoor learning, class teachers, TAs and other school leaders.

The sessions will take you on a journey towards using your school grounds and local area to effectively teach the four purposes of the new curriculum for Wales. Each session builds on the last so that you will finish with an in-depth understanding of what outdoor learning is and how it can be used in your school. Each session will be supported by an in-school task to help you integrate aspects of the session into your school. 

By the end of the course you will have a portfolio of ideas to share with your staff and a plan for taking the new curriculum for Wales and making it bespoke to your school’s outdoor space. 

Sessions can be booked on separately.

Session 1: Starting out. How to teach a four purpose based curriculum through outdoor learning.

How outdoor learning can be used to support a four purpose led curriculum.

The advantages of using outdoor learning as a pedagogy.

Different approaches to outdoor learning.

Simple starting out activities.

Outdoor learning and the ethos of the new curriculum for Wales.

Session 2: Auditing what you do now and your school grounds. – Making the best use of what you have.

How to audit the resources you have available for outdoor learning.

How to zone your school grounds to make best use of the space for all year groups.

Outdoor learning skills audit of the staff.

Identifying barriers to outdoor learning.

Session 3: Barriers to outdoor learning and overcoming them. – Tips and tricks to make outdoor learning easier.

Session 4: Integrating outdoor learning into your planning. – Embedding outdoor learning into teaching.

Session 5: A whole school approach – Systemic changes to embed outdoor learning into your school. Creating an outdoor learning policy.

Session 6: Practical ideas to teach through outdoor learning. – Science and technology AOLE.

Session 7: Practical ideas to teach through outdoor learning. – Maths and numeracy AOLE

Session 8: Practical ideas to teach through outdoor learning. – Language, Literacy and communication AOLE.

Session 9: Practical ideas to teach through outdoor learning. – Humanities AOLE

Session 10: Practical ideas to teach through outdoor learning. – Expressive arts AOLE

Session 11: Practical ideas to teach through outdoor learning. – Health and Wellbeing AOLE

Session 12: Cross curricular project ideas to teach through outdoor learning. – Using the wider local area as well as school grounds.

Session 13: Assessment of learning and for learning in outdoor learning.

Session 14: Risk assessments and risk benefit analysis.

Session 15: Becoming sector leading in outdoor learning. – Putting outdoor learning at the heart of your school’s curriculum.

Session 16: Meaningful school trips. – Using learning outside the classroom experiences effectively.

Session 17: Undertaking meaningful field trips. – Planning and designing your own field trips.

Session 18: Progression and differentiation in outdoor learning. -The pedagogy of outdoor learning.

Session 19: School grounds developments. – How to use and develop your school grounds to support outdoor learning.

Session 20: Sharing best practice. Discussion of what has worked in your journey of embedding outdoor learning into your school.

Nature Days has created innovative Outdoor Learning, Independent challenge cards.

These are suitable for KS2 but also can be used with KS1 and EY with support.  

The cards pose enquiry questions for students to explore independently, using the school grounds as a resource for discovery.  

The cards are divided into 6 Area of Learning and Experience:

Health and Wellbeing – including P.E

Science and Technology – Including all sciences and D.T.

Literacy and communication – Including languages.

Maths and Numeracy 

Humanities – Including Geography, History and R.S.

Expressive Arts – Including Art, Drama, and Music.

There are over 50 cards, each in a set format to encourage students to undertake the challenges independently.

Each challenge is supported with; Success criteria, Prompt questions, Identifies resources you could use, Examples of methods which could be used and Extension tasks and questions to encourage additional learning. 

Cards are also available individually on request.

The Outdoor learning cards encourage independence and can easily be undertaken with social distancing.

The Outdoor Learning cards are also suitable for use for home schooling.  The activities are suitable for any outdoor space so can be undertaken in a garden or any open space.  

As they are designed to be undertaken independently, they can be used by schools not only in school as a resource for undertaking learning outdoors, but to bring home schoolers and in schoolers together in undertaking the same activities.

Also in case you missed the Free outdoor challenges for home schoolers or use in school grounds on Nature Days Blog and You Tube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDXOJ1IVfClsnj99NuCHmAQ

I hope you will be in touch and use Nature Days services at this challenging time.

Buy now by emailing naturedays@reynoldston.com

or on TES

For more details look at the Nature Days web page www.naturedays.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter @DawnNaturedays #Naturedays

Lots of free resources on the Nature Days blog and You tube channel #Naturedays

Dawn Thomas 07779950126  naturedays@reynoldston.com

I am pleased to inform you that The Gower Society is funding field trips for Swansea schools to visit Gower with Nature Days again this year.


For more information and to see what field trips are available contact Nature Days at naturedays@reynoldston.com Or www.naturedays.co.uk


All field trips are bespoke to the class’s learning objective and cover the four core purposes and are linked to one or more of the 6 AOLEs.

Scroll down to the application form.

Questions:

What can the funding be used for?

  1. The funding can be used to fund a fieldtrip undertaken by our GSY youth leader Dawn Thomas of Nature Days.
  2. The transport costs of a visit to explore Gower’s natural environment.  If the school can satisfy the GSY committee that there is a need for additional funding

then the cost of transport may be funded by the GSY fund. (If applying for transport, a quote is needed within the application).

Please do not order transport without approval and completion of the GSYA application form available here: http://www.thegowersociety.org.uk/youth/gsya-grants/

Where can we undertake the field trip?

  1.  Field trips must be undertaken within the Gower Lordship, an area bounded by the rivers Tawe, Llwchwr, Cathan, Amman and Twrch.  See the below map.

Can any school apply for the grant?

  1. Only schools located within the Lordship of Gower can apply.

Can we use the funding to improve our school grounds?

  1. No. The Gower Society Youth Action (GSYA) provides grants for grounds development, see the separate GSYA application, http://www.thegowersociety.org.uk/youth/gsya-grants/   

How many classes can apply for GSY funding to go on a Nature Days field trip?

  1. Each school can take one class for one day’s Nature Days field trip.  Multiple classes may not attend on a funded field day, unless specifically arranged and confirmed by Dawn Thomas.

How many times can I apply for a class to be funded for a field trip?

  1.  Schools may apply for more than one class per year but there is a limited amount of funding and schools who have not had funding will be awarded funding before schools are awarded a second funded field trip.  GSY may subsidise additional or multiple trips.  The school is welcome to self-fund additional days or classes.

We encourage schools who have not applied in the past to apply quickly.

Which year groups can the funding be used for?

  1.  All primary year groups and years 7 – 9.  The funding may not be used for the mandatory GCSE and A level field trips.

Completing supporting statement:

Please indicate the reason behind the NEED for the funded field trip.  This should include;

  1. The reason for the field trip and how it will improve the curriculum experience of the children attending.  How does it link to their topic?
  2. The reason the school cannot self-fund the field trip.
  3. Any additional information which may help in our consideration of your application for funding.

GSY fieldtrip funding application.

Information on field trip funding.

The Gower Society Youth section of the Gower Society is prepared to make funding towards field trips that encourage young people residing in the Lordship of Gower to understand, appreciate and enhance their natural environment.

Applicants should complete all sections of the application form before returning it to the Gower Society Youth leader and Action Secretary.  They are also welcome to attach additional information.

If an application is approved, the Society will inform the successful applicant and the following conditions may be applied:  

  1. If approval is given by the Society and field trip confirmation made by GSY, then the applicant must undertake the field trip within the academic year.  Money will not be sent to the school except if transport costs have been approved in the funding application. Payment for the field trip will be sent direct to field trip provider and no invoice or cost will be incurred by the school.
  • The school is requested to identify the awarding of the grant by Gower Society Youth (GSY) and the Gower Society to parents of the children taking part.  This maybe in a school newsletter, letters out to parents, Tweets with hashtag #GowerSocietyFunding with @TheGowerSociety. Please share any photos of the field trip with GSY via Dawn Thomas or through Tweets.

If an applicant has any queries, the Society is always happy to discuss ideas at an early stage.  If the applicant has queries, the best thing to do is to make an exploratory telephone call to the youth leader.

Please do not book buses or inform the children until the date of the field trip has been confirmed, and you have confirmation that your application has been successful.

Applications should be sent to:

Dawn Thomas, GSY youth leader

 dawn.thomas@reynoldston.com

and Joan Darbyshire Chairman of Gower Society Youth

JoanDarbyshire@btinternet.com

Enquiries to 01792 392919 07779950126 or email to dawn.thomas@reynoldston.com

Download you Nature Trail guide which will help you explore the habitats of Port Eynon. You can pick it up in person on Saturday 1st May 9am – 3pm download it. This will be a ticketed event, free, funded by the Gower Society, so we can stagger start times to maximise the number of families who can take part.

Follow instructions to look for shark egg cases, shells, rock pool animals, explore natural history remains, identify plants.
The aim is to allow you to explore a number of habitats and local history following a guide which will help you identify what you see.
I will be on hand on the day if you want any help with identification or further information.
Tickets for the 1st May event are available here.

If you would like to undertake a geographical enquiry I have a worksheet to help you choose a descriptive enquiry title, and go through all the 6 stages of the enquiry process to find out how to be a real geographer.

Watch the video to find out how.

If there are any teachers who would like more information on geographical enquiry at KS2 and how to ensure progression up to A level, then I am presenting at the G.A. (Geographical Association) Conference on April 10th. Book in to find out how to create suitable enquiry questions at all levels.

https://www.geography.org.uk/Programme-2021

This is a science or maths investigation into the angles of the branches of a tree.

The enquiry question is…
Is there a relationship between height up a tree and the angle of the branch to the trunk?

Watch the you You video on the Nature Days you tube channel to see how to undertake the investigation.

https://youtu.be/3tDQtSlII3U


Here is the worksheet to fill in your results and also make a prediction, draw a conclusion and write an evaluation.

If you undertake the investigation please share your results on Twitter #Naturedays or on the facebook page

My challenge for you today is to find out the colour of winter.
Last season in March and July I posted videos on collecting the colours of spring and summer. If you have watched the videos you may have already collected the colours of spring and summer. If not, here are the colours I found.

Or check out the blogs for those videos.
Spring colour hunt blog

Summer colour hunt blog

Now see if you can make your own colour pallet for winter.
What you will need:
A piece of card
Double sided tape

How to do it:
Make sure you get permission to pick plants or flowers in your garden.
Go around a pick a small piece of all the different coloured flowers you find and stick them to the double-sided tape.
Once you have filled the card then compare it to the spring and summer pallet.

What has changed between spring and summer and winter?
You could also take photos of the different colours.

Or you can complete the colour hunt worksheet.
What you will need:
Colour hunt worksheet
Coloured pencils
scissors
Take coloured pencils and the worksheet out with you.
Walk around you garden and find some colours.
Try and find the same colour pencil.
Then colour one of the squares that colour.
Continue around your garden colouring one square for every plant that colour.


Next cut out all the coloured squares.
Arrange them so that all the same colours are next to each other and make a spectrum, so the colours seem to blend from one to another.

Look at the range of colours you have collected.
What can you say about the range of colours in winter compared to spring or summer?
Is there a most frequent colour, a mode colour?
Why do you think there is less of a variety?

You could also create a bar graph with the data from your colour worksheet. Count how many colours there were in the different seasons and then draw a bar graph to compare them. You could even colour the bars in the same colours of your spectrum. Or you could arrange your spectrum into the bars on your chart.

A bar graph of colours from each season

I would love to see your colour charts for winter and compare them to mine and other children’s so please tweet any photos #Naturedays @DawnNaturedays or post on the Nature Days Facebook page.


As schools have restarted home learning, Nature Days have restarted the support for teachers.

If you are a teacher, or you have children learning at home please subscribe to the Nature Days Youtube channel, search #Naturedays on you tube.

Here you will have access to fun and educational outdoor learning challenges which children can do in their gardens or local green space.

No complicated equipment is needed and all the videos are suitable for all primary aged children and include full instructions as well as some questions and impart some knowledge.

Nature Days will be posting daily challenges while schools are closed for most students.

There fist three videos are on Making ice decoration, watching a sunrise and set and making a whisk out of your old Christmas tree.