Friday, July 2, 2010

Brighton and Hove Heritage and Environmental Festival

30 June 2010
Brighton and Hove Heritage and Environment Festival
Today I attended Brighton and Hove’s Heritage and Environment Festival at Moulsecoomb Primary School.  Over 700 students from 5 different primary schools rotated through 12 activities over 3 days.  Each group of students spending half a day participating in outdoor learning workshops.  Workshops included Forest Schools, Food Partnerships, Fermenting, Story Making, Minibeasts, Creative Willow, SAS bread, Archaeological Dig, Neolithic clothes, museum skeletons, farming and the country side, RSPB making bird feeders, herbs, and house building. 

A real sense of community existed between the various groups who had been brought in to run these sessions.  The emphasis was on nature and the outdoors with a real flavour of history.  Children working with archaeologists actually finding medieval artefacts then building Neolithic shelters with staff from ESAMP (?)  The school was a real hive of activity throughout the day.  The afternoon involved teacher professional development sessions which were an expansion on the morning sessions.   

Having seen the schools outdoor learning environment and then the outdoor camp in Wales, seeing outside organisations being brought in to deliver outdoor learning meshed in well with the school’s whole overall ethos.  Although an annual activity, the festival value added to much of the learning that occurred as an ongoing part of the schools curriculum.

What was enlightening was that the festival was so well supported by professionals who were delighted to be able to get children involved and excited about what interested them.

Teacher Workshops
The afternoon professional development session was spent with Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Neolithic Builders.  The wildlife trust is a charitable organisation which looks after over 30 wildlife areas.  A big part of its summer program is running 10 week Forest School sessions.  Many teachers who are involved with Forest Schools with the Wildlife Trust go on to do the training and run Forest Schools independently of the Wildlife Trust.  Training is 5 days residential followed by a portfolio and written assignments and is usually complete within 12 months.  The Wildlife trust demonstrated swish netting for insects and utilizing mini microscopes to look at what was caught in the net. Children were happily make a myriad of  objects from willow harvested the previous year.  I was given a number of publications from The Woodland Trust including, Hug a Tree, Tree Party, Having Fun With Fungi and Do One Thing For Nature.  All these are published by The Wildlife Trusts,

I also spoke with Ganesh and Elaine Kings from Creative Willow Structures who spoke of the endless learning potential with willow. 

Much of the building work was very labour intensive and promoted team work to achieve tasks.  Very simple tasks for example moving a large log requires problem solving, leadership and team work, qualities which give opportunities of less academic students to often shine.  The sessions were well attended from across the district and provided by East Sussex Archaeology and Museum Partnerships There was a very laid back casualness to the sessions which encouraged networking during sessions.


Room3 :P said...

Good Morning,

Today is the last day of term so unfortunately this will be our last comment. Thank you for your efforts in taking us along for the ride, we have really enjoyed following your travels and we look forward to chatting to you in person next term. Enjoy the last part of your holidays and we wish you safe travels.
Brittany: I hope that you have a nice ride home.
Maggie: Can't wait until next term to see you.
Danielle: I guess you're going to be worn out when you come back?
Cameron: We are versing Room 4 in teeball today.
Hayden: I hope that you have a safe trip home.
Rhiannon: I hope you've had a good time.
Eddy: I enjoyed all the pictues.
Taliesin: I like the pictures with you in them.
Sam: Hey Mr Cumming, hope you've had a good time, thanks for answering all our questions.
Caleb: Hope you have a good holiday.
Austin: See you soon.
Goodbye Mr Cumming
From Room 3 WPS

Joan said...

You are doing a wonderful job of your blog...its really interesting. Not long till you are home. Enjoy the rest of you time away, and your work.


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