Let's Go! Science Trails
A Holistic way of looking at science in the world around us using the local environment
Is your school near a housing estate? A busy road? A playground? Or an area of outstanding natural beauty?
Outdoor learning is an important way of contextualising science and allows children to engage with the environment around them; something which cannot always be achieved in a classroom. A full colour, 80 page booklet has been developed by a group of teachers in the London borough of Haringey who received funding from the PSTT to develop a set of ‘Science Trails’ to make the most of outdoor areas in urban London. The 25 Trails included in the booklet have applications not only in urban areas, but also rural settings.
The teachers in this project have created an invaluable CPD resource with a huge range of ideas and materials to promote outdoor learning from EYFS to KS2, with easy to use Trails which should be shared with as many teachers as possible.
The Trails were designed to be creative and innovative, using technology that would appeal to children to further enhance the trail experience. iPods, digital cameras and data loggers were suggested to improve the children’s experience on a trail and incorporate an ICT and data element to the trails in a meaningful way.
Each Trail provides support and ideas for outdoor learning, with a set of objectives, resources/equipment needed, health and safety implications and what to do whilst out on the Trail. They are all designed to be easily adaptable to your own school environment and surroundings, and may even inspire you to develop Trails of your own. At the back of the booklet you will find examples of children’s work, along with blank worksheets to photocopy and use with your class.
The initial project was funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (then as the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust), for a year from 2010-2011. The PSTT are incredibly proud of the work produced by everyone involved in this project and are supporting Jeannette Morgan (Fellow of the Primary Science Teacher College) to further disseminate the great work she has been doing to a new cluster of schools in Chichester. Find out more about the Chichester cluster here.
Science Trails can be purchased from Amazon at a cost of £20 + £2.80 P&P (search Primary Science Teaching Trust) or use this link .
Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.
David Polis, Environmentalist and Outdoor Educator.