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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

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.

Nature days are now available without leaving your school.

Due to Covid rules restricting movement Nature Days has developed virtual field trips to be undertaken either online on in your school grounds.

Outreach sessions available:

  • GCSE and A level introduction to field work methods. This includes: a virtual introduction to methodologies in any location. Activities are then introduced, undertaken in school grounds or student’s gardens. A live online session – targeted questioning and challenges for the students which makes each workshop bespoke. NEA planning using the new Wjec enquiry question generator tool, which Nature days co-wrote. This will allow students and teachers to ensure their NEA enquiry questions are suitable, achievable within any restrictions which are in place. Further support is available for data collection and all aspect so for the enquiry process.
  • Hyper local field trips for primary school students. Nature days provides bespoke field trips using your own school grounds, or local green space. Topics covered are:
  1. Navigation
  2. Survival
  3. Roman
  4. Team building
  5. Environmental art
  6. Sustainability
  7. Weather
  8. Science investigation
  9. Habitats
  10. Outdoor Challenges – using the Nature Days outdoor challenge cards.

All field trips can take place within any school grounds or local green space.

Roman fort model

A nice article here for exploring geology in your own garden.

https://porch.com/advice/discover-the-fun-of-backyard-geology

My challenge for you today is to create your own dichotomous key for the leaves in your garden.

Watch my video to see how to do it.  

What you will need:
A pile of different leaves
Paper
Pen

How to do it:
Take your leaves and divide then into two piles based on a characteristic.
Next look at one of those piles at a time and see if you can divide the pile again using a different characteristic. You may look at the shape of the leaves or the texture or any marking such as veins or edges. Once you have made more sub set continue to try to sort each pile into smaller and smaller set by different characteristics.
When you have finished you should have one leaf in each pile at the end of the key.
Take your pen and paper and draw arrows to the sub sets and write the characteristic you have used to sort the leaf by. Continue with all your sub sets until all the branches of you key have been labelled.

Now you have your own dichotomous key for the leaves in your garden.
You could then look up the names of the plants using a published dichotomous key online or in a book and add the names of the leaves to the bottom.
Take a photo of your key and keep it as a tool to identify leaves in other locations.
You could even share it with someone else in your house to see if they can use it to identify a leaf they picked in your garden.

I would love to see your dichotomous keys so please tweet your photos #Naturedays or @DawnNaturedays or on the Nature Days Facebook page.

Dichotomous key

Our first “real” outdoor event for a while! This will be a socially distanced photo treasure hunt along with a video about Oxwich to accompany it. Watch the video on the Nature Days you Tube channel.

You will need:

A print out of the treasure map – Download here.

A print out of the photos clues- Download here.

A camera or phone

How to do it:
Print the Treasure map and photo clues below.
Try to go to all the locations identified on the map where the photos have been taken.
When you are at the location take a selfie of yourself and anyone you are with to prove you have found it.

Upload your photos to Twitter @GowerSociety @DawnNaturedays #OurGower #Naturedays

I will send certificates to all those who upload photos.

You might want to enter The Gower Society photo competition with your photos or others you have. Details here, with the chance to win £25 Amazon voucher.

Tips and hints:

Drive or walk to Oxwich Nature Reserve, there is a car parking charge. Look at the map and orientate where you are.

You can access the reserve via the footpath at the entrance to the car park for the beach or at the very front on the east end of the car park, past the toilets.

You can go to each location in any order you like.

Take care to stick to paths, but if you do get lost you can just head for the sea and walk back along the beach.

Dogs are welcome on the reserve but please clean up after them, and take care as there are adders on the dunes.

If you are worried about adders then sing your way around, or bring a stick to tap the ground as you go. Snakes don’t like people so if they hear you coming they will get out of the way.

Why not make your walk even more meaningful by bringing a rubbish bag and doing a litter pick as you go.

Please ensure you stick to social distancing guidelines and government guidance.

Have fun and I look forward to seeing your entries.

My challenge for you is to undertake an angle investigation.

Watch my video to see how.

To investigate angles in natural and manmade environments.  

Complete the angle survey worksheet using tallies for the two environments.

What you will need:
Your hand
Angle investigation results table.
Ruler
Protractor

How to do it:
Find a tree.
Use your hand with finger and thumb sticking out. This is your angle finder.
Measure the height up the tree until you get to a branch with your ruler.
Write that height down in the first column of the results table in meters.
Next using your angle finder see if the angle between the trunk and the branch is acute, less than 90o, right angle, 90o, or obtuse, greater than 90o. Then tally in the results table other column for that angle type.
If you want to actually measure the angles instead of just categorising them into the type then you can do that. You can try to use a protractor, or estimate using your 90o angle finder. Then write that angle down in the second column.
Next measure to the next branch, make sure you measure from the base of the tree to the next branch. Then measure the angle or tally the type of angle.
Continue this for as many branches as you like. If you can’t reach the branch then you may have to estimate the height – look at my video on measuring height to help.

Once you have all your results you can graph your results to see is there is a relationship between the height of the tree and the angle.


If you have measured the angle then use the first graph outline on the worksheets. If you have tallied the type of angle then use the second graph outline.


For both graphs the height of the tree is along the bottom, the X axis, as this is the variable we are choosing to change.
For the types of angle, plot the results for one type of angle in one colour and then plot a different set of plots in a different colour.
Draw a line with a ruler going through the middle of your plots trying to get half the dots on one side of the line.

To answer the question -What is the relationship between the height up a tree and the angle of the branches to the trunk?
Look at the shape of the graph.
Compare to the picture below.
Do any of these graphs look like your graph? It may not be exactly the same.

I would love to see your results and what your conclusions are so please share ant graphs or pictures on twitter #Naturedays @DawnNaturedays