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Look what I found on my washing in the garden yesterday!
It is a crab spider. Usually found in the middle of white flowers like hogweed where they are camouflaged against the petals. They lie in wait for pollinators to visit the flower, then pounce and grab them with their crab like legs. They also change the colour of their body to match their background. I should have left it there and today I might have had a red spider!

Your challenge for today is to create your own superhero mini beast.
You can use ideas from mini beasts you have in your garden or ones you have researched. Try and combine features from different mini beast to make the perfect super mini beast.
Start by looking around for inspiration outside. What would be a really useful superpower for a mini beast?

Draw a picture of your new super mini beast and upload it to the Twitter feed #NatureDays or Nature Days facebook page.

You could also try this superhero challenge as well for the NHS.

Did you ever wonder why mini beasts choose to live in different habitats?

The challenge for today is to investigate which habitats mini beasts prefer.
You will need to build a choice chamber and set up four different conditions.
Dry and light.
Dry and Dark – Cover with dark paper
Damp and light – Damp kitchen towel
Damp and dark -Damp kitchen towel and Cover with dark paper.

Also find some mini beasts, 12 is a good number. Woodlice work well but you could try with any min beasts you can find.

Where do you predict your mini beasts will choose to live?

Set up your choice chamber then place the mini beasts equally around the chambers. Close the lid and wait. Come back every 5 minutes to see where the mini beasts have chosen to live. Repeat every 5 minutes for as long as you can.
You can fill in the worksheet with your results.
Don’t forget to put your mini beasts back where you found them.

Follow up work:
You can look at your results and decide what conditions your mini beasts prefer.
Are they the conditions where you found the mini beast? If not why do you think that is? Share your results on Twitter #NatureDays to see what other people found.

Welcome to Nature Days outdoor learning resources.
I have filmed a brief introduction to the activity, you can show the children it is on facebook and Twitter @DawnNatureDays #NatureDays or just use the post.

Bore Da.
Today we are going on a mini beast hunt.
If you can go outside, either to a wood, common or just your garden, see if you can find any mini beasts.
If you are stuck inside, then you will be amazed how many mini beasts live with you in your house. Look in dark corners and under dusty furniture.
I have published a worksheet online you can use to identify the mini beasts you find and also write where you found them.

When you have found and identified the mini beast and filled in the worksheet what do you think we should do with our mini beasts?
That’s right put them back where you found them. If you can’t remember just look at your results!

Follow up activities:
With your results table you can draw a graph to see if there is any pattern in where you found the mini beasts.
Add up how many mini beasts you found in each habitat.
You can use J2launch or use squared paper for your graph.
Don’t forget the variable which you choose goes on the bottom the X axis – where we found the mini beasts.
And the variable you measured, the number of mini beasts, goes on the vertical, Y axis.
There is an example to help you online. When you have finished put a copy of your results on twitter #NatureDays so I can see them.
If you don’t know the name of a mini beast and it is not on the list, then just post a photo and I will try and identify it. Or you can make up your own name for it. Maybe it is a new species!!

Hello families.
I hope everyone is well and safe.

To help families through this time of no statutory education Nature Days is hear to help you get out and do some outdoor learning in our amazing Gower.

Nature Days will be posting activities to do every weekday so that you can get outside, get learning and have fun.

I will be posting the activities on Facebook as well as twitter #NatureDays and on my website Nature Days.co.uk  Blog. Please follow along and do whatever you like to keep your family entertained and learning outdoors.

Don’t forget that at the moment the outdoors is STILL OPEN!! and free.

The activities may be specific to a location on Gower or one you can do in a range of locations or just your own garden.  I will also be posting ideas for anyone who can’t get outside of some STEM and Forest school activities you can do inside.

I hope you will join me and have fun exploring outdoor learning with your family.

Dawn

  1. Providing cross curricular field trips. Integrating the “What Matters” statements of the AoLEs into fieldtrips.
  2. Developing bespoke programmes based on student planning for each theme.
  3. Highlighting the opportunities for developing the Four Core Purposes in each field trip.
  4. Creating Challenge cards for use on field trips for independent learning.
  5. Creating follow up mission cards for use in the school grounds, post field trip, to build on the learning and experience.

Our field trips are linked to the new Curriculum for Wales and aim to reach the needs of every learner from Nursery to Sixth form.

Field trips are available as cross curricular experiences or can be focused on one of the six Areas for Learning and Experience.

All days are bespoke for each school which will build on previous learning and skills. We work with teaching staff to create activities that work across all six AoLEs and build towards the Four Core Purposes.

All field trips aim to cover all four Core purposes.

Examples of how Nature Days develops students to reach the Four Core Purposes.

Ambitious, capable learners:

  • Providing a challenging environment and activities which pupils will enjoy.
  • Provide different contexts for pupils build up a body of knowledge and learn new skills to explore that environment
  • Provide problem solving opportunities.
  • Provide different setting that pupils have to communicate effectively in.
  • Opportunities to explain ideas and concepts they are learning about in school and relate to real life experiences.
  • Use of outdoor numeracy so students can use number in different contexts.
  • Opportunities to interpret data and apply mathematical contexts through real life experiences.
  • Opportunities to undertake meaningful research and evaluate critically their findings.
  • Providing the opportunity to engage pupils in their learning.

Enterprising, Creative contributors:

  • Real life problems outdoors allow pupils to apply their knowledge and skills to create ideas and products.
  • Real life problem solving allows pupils to think creatively.
  • Outdoor environments provide opportunities for challenge and creative thinking.
  • Field trips are ideal placed for pupils to take measured risks.
  • Team work activities outdoors provide opportunities for different learners to excel, lead and play different roles and take responsibilities.
  • Outdoors build resilience and emotional well-being.

Ethical, informed citizens:

  • Undertaking meaningful evidence collection through the enquiry process, to help pupils form views.
  • Provide real life opportunities to engage with contemporary issues, e.g. pollution, climate change, flooding.
  • Explore their responsibilities and rights in relation to their environmental impacts.
  • Opportunities to observe and understand the impact of their actions on the environment.
  • Learning and experiencing the diversity of the natural world.
  • Experiencing how to become more sustainable in their habits.
  • Learning about Wales and the world.

Healthy, Confident individuals:

  • Explore ethical beliefs lots of which are linked to seasons and nature.
  • Building emotional and mental well-being through taking part in outdoor activities.
  • Developing confidence, resilience and empathy by developing outdoor skills and being surrounded by nature.
  • Take part in physical activity and experiencing the impact on their physical and mental health.
  • Learning how to keep safe and well outdoors.
  • Taking decisions about managing risk.
  • Learning mutual respect for nature.
  • Using the environment as a performance space.
  • Opportunities to face and overcome challenges in the real world through real life problem solving.
  • Learning everyday life skills and knowledge to help pupils develop independence outdoors.

With the publishing of the draft New Curriculum for Wales, Nature Das has been undertaking INSET and ADDS sessions to help schools develop outdoor learning within the new curriculum.

Below is an outline of how outdoor learning is vital to the New Curriculum for life.

Focus on Areas of Learning and Experience.  These are more easily experienced outdoors through outdoor learning or school trips.  This should mean schools integrate trips and outdoor learning experiences more into their planning.

Four Core purposes develop independence and real life learners.  This can be developed through the use of school grounds for problem solving activities across the curriculum. Taking measured risk is in the four core purposes which is supported through outdoor learning. Becoming ethical citizens involves gaining knowledge of nature and empathy for the Welsh environment which can only be achieved through exposure to the outdoors.

Biggest change in the curriculum is the AOLE Health and Wellbeing which identifies the importance of outdoor learning in the enrichment and experience. An easy way for schools to start to address health and wellbeing is to ensure students have regular access to outdoor space and outdoor experiences which can positively impact children’s attitudes, beliefs and self-perception.

An exciting start to the new academic year as schools start to experiment with the draft Curriculum for Wales, Successful Futures or Donaldson.

Nature Days is also embracing the new curriculum by developing field days incorporating the four core purposes and the Areas of Learning and Experience.

Field days, in their very essence, are Learning Experiences, so at Nature Days we already have a head start for facilitating the new curriculum.

We are very excited to be generating new field trips based on themes schools are using with their learners, and would welcome any input by schools on what themes they would like to explore though field work.

Nature Days has also developed INSET training on how to develop an outdoor curriculum which supports the four core purposes and AoLEs. If you need some help in this area please contact Nature Days.

I am pleased to announce that Nature Days has just achieved the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Kite mark for its field work!!

Nature Days is also leading the way in getting ready for Donaldston and the new curriculum for life. If you are starting a new topic how about taking your class on an inspirational field trip to spark off their ideas and start the planing process.

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