'let's go!' science trails
a holistic way of looking at science in the world around us using the local environment
The local environment in many areas can be an underused resource particularly in urban areas. This project created a number of science trails in school grounds and beyond, providing a great way of getting staff and even parents involved in practical science. Teachers are able to choose and adapt the trail relevant to the science they are teaching and although developed in Haringey, ideas can be applied to any area.
The project resulted in a stimulating and popular resource booklet that is available to purchase – find out more here.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
- To get children engaged with science in the world immediately around them
- To provide a context for better quality assessment of practical science – particularly the application and implications of science
- To increase professional confidence in the teaching of exciting science and effective assessment
- To engender a holistic view of science around us
- To create a sustainable and inspirational teaching resource that includes a platform for national and international networking.
Teachers from eleven schools worked collaboratively to develop the trails and trial them with their own classes and then by others. Feedback from the trials was used to modify the trails which were then professional designed and compiled into a booklet including the trails themselves and accompanying resources.
The schools involved have used the trails extensively and the booklet has proved a valuable resource more widely providing the stimulus for other teachers to create their own trails. One particular feature of the trails was to look for opportunities to use incorporate technologies such as digital cameras for image and video recording, dataloggers and smartphone QR apps to collect data to complement children’s observations and enable follow-up activities back in the classroom.
Resources developed from the project can be found here:
- Feedback from schools that have completed trails was very positive – both teachers and children have loved the experience of being involved.
- Different schools used different approaches – one school used the trails as part of their themed outdoor week and the whole school were challenged to create a trail for their classes. Many of the teachers involved ran CPD activities for other staff in the school and science trails have been written in to curriculum plans.
- The ‘Let’s Go! Science Trails’ (link) booklet is a significant outcome from the project and is available from the Trust. It has been promoted by members of the Primary Science Teacher College and disseminated throughout the UK.
Audio clips of children talking about going on a science trail can be found here: