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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.

With Kirsty William’s announcement today that all students will be going back to school in Wales in September and that school trips will also be encouraged, we are ready to take bookings!

Nature Days has been working hard over this difficult time, providing online resources for schools to access for home learning and outdoor learning during lockdown.

Now we can reconvene with our location of expertise THE OUTDOORS!

We have Risk assessments ready for Covid secure field trips and systems in place to ensure your students are as safe as possible on their field trip.

To book a bespoke field trip contact Dawn now.

FAQ
What are you doing to ensure you are Covid secure?
Nature Days is following all government guidelines and adjusting locations and activities so that social distancing can be maintained. Locations will be thoroughly risk assessed and additional facilities for hand washing implemented.
As the virus is more difficult to transmit outdoors all our field trips will be undertaken outdoors with maximum distance from any members of the public.
Risk assessments are in place for Covid and Nature Days will follow any additional systems individual schools are enforcing to ensure continuity.
Transport options will be discussed with schools so that this does not become a barrier.

What about hand washing outdoors?
On most sites an outdoor hand washing station will be set up so that hand washing can be undertaken effectively. Also any onsite toilet facilities will be used. The use of antibacterial gel will also be used when hand washing is not feasible.

What about sharing equipment?
Nature Days has a large amount of equipment to share out. When necessary individuals will be responsible for pieces of equipment and will not be able to share. If necessary the equipment will be cleaned thoroughly between users in soapy water or if electrical with antibacterial wipes.

We can’t use our normal transport, how are we going to get to the site?
Nature Days aims to use the same procedures as the booking schools for getting children to the site. Most are using parent’s cars and this will be the case on trip day just to a different site. Parents will then pick up from the site. If this is not possible then sites will be chosen to allow children to walk to the site from school or another drop off point.

Do you have a Covid Risk assessment?
Yes we do which we can share if staff require it. As Covid is less lightly to be transmitted outdoors measures put in place after undertaking the risk assessment are generally;
– Provision of hand washing or hand sanitiser.
– Social distancing – ensuring large areas are used for lunch and congregating.
– Disinfecting shared equipment.
– All groups will be self contained and not mix with other groups – one class/bubble only on a trip/site.

Nature days will be updating the measures in place following any change to the guidance and observing the OEAP guidance on Corona virus. Available here 

Systems:

  • Regularly washing/sanitising hands including when going outside, before and after touching shared objects such as activity equipment, before eating, after using the toilet, when getting on or off transport such as a minibus, when returning inside;
    • Avoiding touching objects shared by the public – for example, a member of staff could hold a gate open to avoid everyone touching it;
    • Avoiding activities which involve touching each other (e.g. holding hands);
    • Sanitising equipment before it is used.

Is there a financial risk in booking with you?
No.
All trips can be postponed or cancelled if issues arise.
No deposit is taken so no loss can occur to the 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

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.

Coastal foraging experience

If you want to share the wonder of Gower with others why not give the gift of a Nature Days experience.

Nature Days provides vouchers for a range of exciting outdoor experiences.

Experiences include;

  • Coastal foraging foray; – Explore the rock pools and sandy shore at low tide to find tasty seaweeds and shellfish. Learn how to forage sustainably and the advantages of finding your own food. We will cook any find on the beach and finished with a coastal foraged feast. 
  • Rock pooling exploration; Discover the variety of animals and plants found in the rock pools of Gower. How they are adapted to survive. Where they hide and their life cycles.
  • River guided walk and dipping; Walking the whole length of a beautiful river on Gower. Learn about the landscape and spend some peaceful time beside the trickling stream. Discover the animals living in the river by dipping in the river. Meditation and mindfulness opportunities along a beautiful stretch of water. Finish in a stunning beach.
  • Nature reserve guided walk: Explore one of the many Nature Reserves or Gower AONB. Discover the variety of rare and amazing plants and animals. Learn how they are managed and protected. Opportunity to play a part in helping maintain these wonderful fragile places.
  • Guided Mountain walk: Join a qualified, experienced mountain guide around an appropriate route through the mountains of the Brecon Beacons. With opportunities to explore less well trodden areas and see secret spots. Dips in cold tarns or under waterfalls. Explore the plants of the mountains and the natural history and geology of the area.
  • Learn to navigate: Take a walk around Gower with an expert navigator who will pass on skills in map work, compass work and reading the landscape to select interesting walking routes.
  • Mindfulness in the woods: Take a break surrounded by the calming power of woodlands. Experience forest bathing and take time to connect with the natural world. Take part in a range of exercises which will allow you to connect with the natural world, reset and relax.  
  • Bushcraft and survival for all: Sessions will teach you and your family a range of bushcraft and survival skills. Choose from a range of skills; – fire lighting, foraging, shelter building, natural cordage, cooking outdoors, tree identification, woodworking, pioneering, natural navigation, tracking.
  • Learn about trees and animals; Meet with an expert who can help you improve your plant and animal identification. Discover the biology of the trees and how they interact with the animals and non-living environment. 
  • Nature walks; Let an expert turn your walk into a nature walk.  Open your eyes to the nature around you. Discover the hidden world of plants and animals. Always wondered what you are missing? Let the expert show you. 

All experiences are either be half or a whole day. Suitable for the whole family. Lead by an expert environmental biologist and outdoor learning expert with over 20 years experience of teaching and leading outdoors. Each experience will be adapted depending on the family and is suitable for adults and children. 

Cost Half day £30 pp Full day £60pp family deals available.

Contact Dawn Thomas for more details.