Apply for Outdoor Learning Grant Funding

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This list of grants (see link below) has been compiled by Creative STAR Learning Company to aid schools, youth groups, the environmental, outdoor and play sectors with finding funding for a range of outdoor ventures and initiatives. We hope you will find it of value. If you are able to send us any other relevant funding sources, then please let us know and we will add it to the list. We aim to up-date this sheet every six months.   Many thanks, Juliet Robertson and Lesley McLaren www.creativestarlearning.co.uk

creative-star-learning-company-lfs-grant-information

 

Outdoor Learning on GLOW TV – Thursday 10th November 4pm

education-scotland-rgb-low-resOn Thursday 10th of November you will have the opportunity to ask a panel of teachers and practitioners all the questions you may have about using outdoor learning as a context for learning in your establishment. Whether it’s as part of a nurture programme, to raise attainment in literacy or numeracy or for developing your school grounds we will help to answer your questions and give some ideas and advice to utilising the wonderful resource that is outdoor learning.

To register for the event go to : https://meet.glowscotland.org.uk/outdoorlearningqanda/event/registration.html

Campaign for School Gardening Courses

rhsCampaign for School Gardening Courses, Royal Horticultural Society
The RHS are running teacher training courses in Scotland this year, alongside their Campaign for School Gardening.

A Year in your School Gardening Club, Edinburgh -28th Sept; Renfrewshire – 14th Oct
This course is full of fun projects and activities to help you keep your gardening club flourishing in all weathers and seasons throughout the year. Click here for more details.

– Apply Primary Level Maths and English skills through the Outdoor Environment, Edinburgh, 26th Oct
Have you ever thought about taking your pupils outside for maths and English lessons? Being in the school garden or a beautiful local green space will inspire your pupils to learn, enjoy and achieve in these subjects. Please click here.

– Cultivating a Healthier School (Grow, Cook and Eat your own produce), Glasgow, 21st Nov
RHS horticulturists have teamed up with Chefs @ School to provide a practical course to enable you to put pupils’ health and wellbeing at the centre of your school with an ethos and culture of great food. Please click here.

 

Gardening and Woodland Courses

owlOutdoor & Woodland Learning Scotland (OWL) Gardening and Woodland Courses OWL will be running a series of courses on Gardening for Biodiversity , which will include a practical introduction to the Wee Green Fingers resource. Dates and Venues:

– Saturday 15th October (morning) – Hidden Gardens, Glasgow.

– Saturday 12th November – The Bield, Perthshire.

– Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, date tbc.

The courses will be free and open to all OWL members, teachers and educators. Please email to provisionally book a place: Bonnie.Maggio@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Coming soon: 2 workshops on Scotland’s Native Woodlands. For more information subscribe to the OWL Scotland bulletin.

Game of Cones

protreeWe really need to encourage a new generation of plant health professionals. Just think what life would be like if the resources we get from plants like food, timber and medicine were to be in short supply. Trees in Britain provide us with some stark examples of plant health problems. Since the 1970’s a fungus called Dutch elm disease has killed between 25 and 75 million elms. Today it is still spreading in northern Scotland. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated example. The Forestry Commission website lists seven pests and 13 diseases that currently threaten British trees. The problem continues to grow and the rate at which new problems arrive has been accelerated through accidental import as a result of global trade. Recently there has been considerable media coverage of tree health problems, often with dire predictions for the future.

Rather than just wringing our hands we need to do something about this situation. This is why a group of Scottish researchers have taken the unusual step of working with a computer games company to develop CALEDON a survival strategy game about tree health. Their aim is to switch on the younger generation to tree health through the very popular medium of computer games. Any biologist will tell you that diversity of species and diversity of genes within species creates resilience. The old saying about the dangers of putting all your eggs in one basket is absolutely spot-on in the context of plant health. So why is it that our forestry practices have for so long focussed on single species plantations that are often of restricted genetic diversity?

This question is at the hearth of CALEDON which has been developed as part of the outreach and education programme of the PROTREE project http://bit.ly/2cAlyzN and has seen project scientists from seven Scottish research institutes working together. Designed to be an enjoyable game, inspired by the popularity of virtual worlds, CALEDON challenges players to keep a forest thriving under a series of different scenarios with different objectives that include tree species diversity and forest cover. Players choose what trees to plant and have to work within the limits of available funds. Income can be generated by tree felling and pest and diseases have to be contended with. The learning to develop an effective strategy in the game comes from prompts that appear during gameplay and from exploration of the games encyclopaedia.

CALEDON is aimed at early teens and has good links to the curriculum at Level 3 and 4, but experience has shown that much younger players enjoy the game and do understand how to develop successful strategy. Although it is a single player game small group discussion around how to keep the forest thriving is possible as the player is completely in control of the pace of the game and clicks a button to advance time by five years after making as many changes as they like or can afford to do. The game can be played online at www.rbge.ac.uk/caledon and can also be downloaded for offline play. An iPad version of the game is available at the App Store.

 

LfS Showcase for Stirling and Clackmannanshire Schools and Centres

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Looking for great ideas for learning for sustainability, outdoor learning, children’s right and global citizenship for your school or centre?

Want to meet other centres/schools and meet partner organisations who can support your work?

If so, come along to the Learning for Sustainability (LfS) showcase event from 16:15 – 17:45 on Tuesday 4th October 2016 in Stirling High School, Torbrex Farm Rd, Stirling FK8 2PA.

The event is being organised through a partnership with Education Scotland and Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils. It is open to teachers and learners and will include displays and stalls from early learning, primary and secondary schools and centres from across Stirling and Clackmannanshire. Find out about all the benefits of learning for sustainability and how it can promote great learning; help increase motivation to learn; raise attainment; develop skills; enhance community spirit and partnerships; and promote health and wellbeing. Schools and centres will be explaining all the practical and achievable steps they have taken to develop whole school approaches to learning for sustainability (LfS) by building on their existing global citizenship, outdoor learning, sustainable development education and children’s right’s activities. There’ll be opportunities too to find a buddy school to collaborate with and share practice going forward.

A number of local and national partner organisations will be on hand too to explain more about their resources and programmes and how they can offer practical support, advice and professional learning opportunities. Organisations include:

  • John Muir Award
  • Keep Scotland Beautiful/Eco-Schools Scotland
  • British Council
  • Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
  • Food for Life/Soil Association
  • OPAL Community Scientists/The Conservation Volunteers
  • Community Resilience/Emergency Planning Officers
  • Forth Environment Link…and more

With Learning for Sustainability embedded within How Good is Our School 4? and the GTCS Professional Standards there’s never been a better to time to find out more about how LfS can improve outcomes for learners. The refresh of the Eco-Schools Scotland programme also offers many existing opportunities relating to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and themes relating to LfS.

The event is open to all and is free. If you can, please let us know in advance if you plan to come by emailing Helen Winton at: wintonh@stirling.gov.uk

Beyond the Panda Education Programme

PandaThe RZSS Beyond the Panda education programme aims to provide children with an understanding of China, its language, geography, habitats, flora and fauna and in particular learn about the giant panda and the RZSS China/UK research.

Beyond the Panda travels to schools across Scotland in our new vehicle kindly donated by Arnold Clark. We provide a combination of outreach sessions, teacher training and ‘panda boxes’ for loan. The boxes are filled with games, jigsaws and other fun activities which stimulate learning and classroom discussions. The learning resources enable students to investigate, study and explore a variety of topics within the overall context of giant pandas and China; linking with CfE experiences and outcomes in science, topical science, social studies, language and literacy. With the generous funding from the Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh our programmes also provide an introduction to the learning of Mandarin Chinese.

Sandie Robb, RZSS Senior Education Officer, said: “The RZSS Beyond the Panda is a fantastic and truly unique outreach learning experience. Through the China Mobile Library, students are able to learn about Chinese history, geography, culture and language as well as about giant pandas and the conservation work of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. The children really enjoy the educational games, whilst learning at the same time. The RZSS Beyond the Panda allows us to inspire the next generation of nature conservationists.”

Miss MacDonald, St. Peter’s RC Primary, said: “After doing the panda box activities with three classes, I can really see the positive impact it had on children’s learning. All classes were engaged and enthusiastic throughout and when speaking with the children after they completed the tasks, they could tell me lots of things that they had learned.”

In addition, classes who wish to progress further in the Beyond the Panda programme are able to work towards a Pambassador Class Award at bronze, silver and gold levels.

See Beyond the Panda in action –

On the road with Beyond the Panda

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdxcO0ohbZE

RZSS China Mobile Library

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60DmB8Yk5yQ

 

Contact Sandie Robb for further information:

srobb@rzss.org.uk

@Sandie_Robb #BeyondthePanda

Make your voice heard in national survey

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Schools are being asked to share their views on “Edible Gardening” as part of a research project in association with the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). The five minute questionnaire aims to gather feedback from all schools, regardless of whether they have a school garden or not.

 
Terry Griffiths, who is leading the research, explains “There is strong research evidence of the benefits of school gardening, particularly in learning, behaviour and emotion and in food choices.   Organisations such as RHS Scotland, RBGE and the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society are increasingly providing interdisciplinary learning initiatives to develop gardening in schools.  These include direct involvement in schools with pupil groups, career-long professional learning for staff, as well as educational materials and free seeds. This survey aims to build a  comprehensive picture of the extent of school gardening across Scotland and will help assess the benefits and the difficulties associated with developing gardening in schools.”

Responses will be anonymised for analysis and reporting. A small number of schools may be contacted for further enquiries once the initial survey has been completed.

The survey is online at https://goo.gl/AXypRp . For further information, please contact Mrs Terry Griffiths at T.Griffiths@rbge.ac.uk .

LfS and the Shieling Project

Shileing 1

Before outdoor learning there was the shieling.  For hundreds of years, each summer young people all over Scotland would take the livestock up to hill or moorland pastures, camping there in small bothies, learning about the world beyond the village. The Shieling Project brings the shieling back to life for young people and teachers, through outdoor learning, resources and professional learning for teachers.

Sam Harrison, who runs the Shieling Project explains “Through this tradition we can look at so many subjects across the curriculum, and work skills from archaeology to forestry, as well as exploring global sustainability themes through hands on local learning experiences.”

The Shieling Project professional learning programme in learning for sustainability will run again from this May.  The year long course leads to professional recognition from the GTCS in Learning for Sustainability.

Based in Glen Strathfarrar, near Beauly, four weekend workshops, two days of outdoor learning with your class and an online forum provide an opportunity to build a critical, supportive and collaborative community.  The course costs £900.

For more information, including a video of the first cohort of teachers presenting their learning journeys, click here.

For a full list of courses that can lead to professional recognition, visit the GTCS website .

LfS national practitioner network launched

The first meeting of the Learning for Sustainability national practitioner network took place on Friday 30th October. Practitioners representing nineteen different local authorities worked alongside partner organisations (including Keep Scotland Beautiful, WOSDEC, LfS Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland) during a very productive day of conversation, sharing and planning. Class teachers, faculty and department heads, principal teachers, head teachers, depute heads, curriculum support officers and child development officers got together to share some of the fantastic work already taking place.

The wealth of experience and commitment to LfS was wholly evident, as was the enthusiasm and determination of delegates to ensure that their efforts have an impact in their local authorities and beyond. Comments on the LfS Newsfeed included:

pract walls“Loved hearing about all the excellent LfS projects going on across Scotland…inspiring stuff! Looking forward to collaborating with like minded people to spread the good work more widely.”

Great to share practice and successes across different sectors. Need to identify gaps and future opportunities for Learning for Sustainability (LfS) to ensure we keep the momentum going.”

Great morning so far at the LfS practitioners network. Lots of really inspiring work going on all across Scotland!”

The full range of discussions, approaches and resources shared can be found in the LfS professional learning community . However, the list below picks out some of the tasks that network members are planning to take forward through a process of collaboration and co-creation:

  • Getting started : LfS whole school strategic approaches in the secondary school
  • Professional review and development resource: getting the most out of LfS in the standards
  • Progression and transitions: programmes of support to build on LfS successes
  • LfS in National Qualifications
  • Progression in secondary using the John Muir Award
  • Planning and progression in ASL sector
  • Using new GLOW functionality (Delve) to organise curricular resources
  • LfS-specific Resource Calendar
  • Outdoor learning skills progression

Please join in the discussions if you are keen to be part of this process. If your local authority is not already represented on this network, please contact Anthony.Hutcheson@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk  for further information.