Friday, July 2, 2010
30 June 2010
Hove Heritage and Environment Festival
Today I attended Brighton and Hove’s Heritage and Environment Festival at
. 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 Moulsecoomb Primary School , 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. Forest Schools
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
, 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. Wales
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.
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, www.wildlifetrusts.org
I also spoke with Ganesh and Elaine Kings from Creative Willow Structures www.creativewillow.com 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 www.esamp.com There was a very laid back casualness to the sessions which encouraged networking during sessions.