This Glow TV event was recorded by students at Barcaldine Primary School on the west coast of Scotland to celebrate the launch of a brand new educational marine science website called Deep Blue Scotland. Pupils describe the life of seals around Scotland’s coasts and will also use the Deep Blue website to track wild seal cubs as they travel around the Scottish coast. Sign in to watch again here. (Glow log-in required.)
SCHOOLS OFFERED NEW PLATFORM FOR ENHANCED OUTDOOR LEARNING Scottish Seabird Centre launches beach education programme
“One lesson outdoors is worth seven inside” Professor Tim Brighouse
Multi-sensory, experiential and exploratory are the name of the game for the award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre’s brand new outdoor education programme, Seaside School.
Using the beautiful beaches of North Berwick, pupils will be encouraged to engage with the natural environment in a multitude of ways, with topics specially tailored and designed to support the Curriculum for Excellence.
Seaside School has been developed by the Scottish Seabird Centre’s Education Officer Jenny McAllister, focusing on the benefits of outdoor learning to encourage connections between the real world and the classroom, while offering stimulus for creative learning, critical thinking skills and social development.
There are workshops linked to each area of the Curriculum for Excellence: there is the opportunity to explore Technologies in a number of ways including boat building and egg protection challenges; Numeracy through map reading and scavenger hunts; Social subjects via rock pooling and archaeological digs; plus Science through activities such as tides and forces, and bird watching.
Expressive Arts can be experienced in a range of ways including beach art and animal drama; Literacy through storytelling; and Health and Wellbeing via seashore safety and the John Muir Award.
Jenny McAllister, Education Officer at the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “The Scottish Government’s curriculum guidelines state that ‘outdoor learning is an integral part of good practice’ and our Seaside School offers teachers the ideal platform to undertake this.
“I can provide advice and guidance to deliver quality outdoor learning experiences while simultaneously encouraging pupils to care, appreciate and understand the amazing environment around them.
“According to educational writers Wells and Leckies; ‘When children become truly engaged with the natural world at a young age, the experience is likely to stay with them in a powerful way, shaping their subsequent environmental path’. This is in line with our vision for the Centre and an integral reason for us having developed this new educational offering.
Vincent McWhirter has also been developing a boat building and rowing project in South Ayrshire schools for the last year linking into the Scottish Coastal Rowing project. Such a wonderful example of creative teaching and learning! What a great sense of achievement and pride these young people must feel when they get to launch and row their boat!
Vincent McWhirter, DofE Development Officer, has been working with all secondary schools in South Ayrshire on a unique and creative sail training project. Last summer, the project included travelling to Turkey to take charge of a 40ft yacht and sailing in the Gulf of Fethiye for a week exploring remote islands and coastlines. While at sea the pupils also participated in their John Muir Discovery Award learning about the marine environment and the importance of protecting the marine environment. During their expedition they also did a beach clean in a remote Turkish bay, removing lots of plastic containers and other floating rubbish.
Other groups spent time visiting remote berths and marinas around Mull, Loch Linnhe and Oban and doing a beach clean near Malaig. All groups were involved in the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Community Sighting programme recording and reporting cetacean sightings. The waters of the Hebrides are one of the most important marine habitats in Europe, home to nearly 70% of its whale, dolphin and porpoise species, in addition to basking sharks and seals.
All pupils spent several months preparing for the expeditions with sea training and RYA navigation courses delivered by the Central Scotland Sea School. In addition they spent a week training on a yacht in the Firth of Clyde and the west coast as their practice expedition, in preparation for their Qualifying adventure. While at sea all the pupils completed their RYA Competent Crew certificate.
This year there will be three expeditions going to Turkey and one up the west coast of Scotland. Many thanks to Vincent for sharing this information.