It’s been quite a disjointed month what with Spring holidays, Easter weekends, Royal Weddings and May holidays but we are back to school full time now and sprinting towards the Summer holidays.
A good few months ago Ollie Bray pitched up at school, lured from the big city by the smell of coffee, and handed in a set of GPS devices which I thought we could use to encourage a bit more outdoor learning. I was doing a bit of playground cover on the run up to Christmas and took a device out with me to have a wee footer around with. Seeing this piqued the interest of a couple of nosey p7s who asked what I was up to. Long story short, I showed them how they worked and they got out more devices and taught a few others how to work them and so on until we had a wee group confident in their use; then numerous events rather got in the way and derailed things a little the spring term but we got our first good outing with them last week.
We had an Eco event planned in school where parents and friends were invited into school to see some of the work the school had been doing preparing for our 2nd Green Flag. We had craft stalls with children teaching visitors how to create eco items (for a donation of course!) book recycling stalls and home baking. We had parents and children building bug hotels in the wildlife garden, loads of seeds were planted in the raised beds and our new mural was unveiled. We also had a GPS treasure hunt in the school grounds.
The previous week the children had researched information about improvements that had been made over the years to our school grounds and collated it all. They then took this information and placed it into a range of geocaches. Some info was written and hidden inside a range of objects, my favourite was the rugby ball cache in the outside games area, but also included information recorded on talking tins and hidden round the school in interesting areas like the wildlife garden, the orchard, the trim trail etc
After we had decided where everything was being hidden the expert group of p7s went out with me and we set the coordinates of each of the caches. I copied this info over to the 10 devices we had. We then prepared a wipe off sheet with questions for each of the devices. These questions could only be answered once the cache had been found. A table was set up for Eco day and manned by the expert group who showed parents and friends how the GPS devices worked and how to complete the treasure hunt. It was brilliant to hear about how well they were used and how exciting it was to embed this kind of technology into a literacy research task, a listening and talking experience and gain such a fantastic outcome. I’ve embedded a wee highlights video below to give a flavour of the day.