Friday, 3 October 2014

Schools out...side!

We have been working with Swaffham Prior Primary school to assist with outdoor learning for the last four years. In the 2013-14 school year our activities were supported by funding the school received from the Ernest Cook Trust

This funding has allowed us to continue to do lots of fun outdoors activities at the school, including allowing the school to purchase their own pond dipping equipment to use in their pond.

In the spring term we built on some work from previous year and, again working with years five and six, produced some guides to the creatures they had previously found in their outdoor area during a ‘Bioblitz’. The guides will allow future pupils to identify the wildlife they find in the nature area and have already been used by KS1. It was an interesting lesson discussing the information they would need to provide for people to be able to identify creatures scientifically and tell the difference between similar species. Thanks to the funding they school has been able to print and laminate the guides for future use.

Finally we support the school with the maintenance of their outdoor area, clearing weeds, looking after the pond and keeping it up to scratch. The children get involved wherever possible and have over the year helped to build their own willow hurdle screens to screen off the outdoor area from the next door car park. The funding has also allowed us to commission another charity The Rowan Foundation to create a sign board for the school. Rowan is an established Cambridge based arts and crafts centre and charity for learning-disabled people. They have built a lovely display board to go by the pond to tell the children about the wildlife in the outdoor area and to allow them to record what they see on a blackboard which we installed this week. 

Lois Baker
Community Ranger
Wicken Fen 

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