The UK outdoor education charity, the Field Studies Council (FSC), wants to help with home-schooling for primary pupils and their parents with a new programme of live nature lessons.
The #PrimaryNatureLive programme, which runs throughout February, will encourage children to get outside and explore their local wildlife, learn about the environment and discover the secrets to building an outdoor shelter.
There are five lessons in total and all sessions will be broadcast on the FSC’s YouTube channel at 10.30am and run for approximately 40 minutes.
All lessons will be recorded and available to watch afterwards too.
The schedule includes:
1) What to do on a walk - Tuesday, 2nd February
An informative session featuring activities to do on a family walk. The team at FSC Flatford Mill in Suffolk will teach children how to identify trees and figure out their height in a fun way. They will also introduce them to the ‘meet a tree’ game and provide details of an immersive ‘sit spot’ activity. For those unable to get out to a woodland, tutors will demonstrate how to create a piece of natural art at home.
2) Brilliant Birds - Thursday, 4th February
Tutors from FSC Juniper Hall in Surrey will lead a lesson all about garden birds. The session will help children identify the key characteristics of the most common garden birds so they can spot which one is which. There will also be chance for pupils to create their own bird feeder. For those without a garden, it doesn’t matter, as children will still be able to take part in the activities.
3) A Peep at Ponds – Tuesday, 9th February
This live lesson will take place from the grounds of FSC Preston Montford in Shropshire and will teach children how to pond dip and identify different water creatures. For children who don’t live near a pond, FSC tutors will demonstrate how to make a mini pond to attract wildlife into their own outdoor spaces.
4) Wild Skills (shelters and traps) - Thursday, 11th February
For this lesson, children will meet the team at FSC Rhyd-y-Creuau in North Wales. They will be showing children how to build their very own outdoor shelter and how to catch creepy crawlies in the garden.
5) More things to do on a walk – Tuesday, 23rd February
For the final lesson, children will enjoy meeting tutors from FSC Slapton Ley in Devon. This time the team will be sharing more fun activities to do on family walks including making smelly potions, playing colour match games and learning about natural camouflage. They’ll also be looking out for signs of spring and comparing findings to lesson one. If children can’t get to a woodland, tutors will be demonstrating how to make a frozen decoration out of natural materials.
The Nature Live lessons are aimed at KS1 and KS2 primary pupils and they follow on from the successful #FieldworkLive programme of lessons which were delivered by FSC tutors during the first national lockdown.
Simon Ward, FSC head of group (East), said interest in the FSC’s last programme of live lessons was remarkable with more than 370,000 pupils worldwide tuning in to take part.
“We wanted to continue to offer our support to pupils, parents and teachers who are all working extremely hard at home in challenging circumstances. It’s not easy for anyone at the moment but we hope this new programme of live lessons will provide some fun, interactive sessions for pupils to have a go at.”
Simon Ward, FSC head of group (East)
“It’s a chance to do something a bit different and encourage children to get outdoors when they can to learn about the natural world which surrounds them.
“There are plenty of activities which the children will find fun and many of them can be enjoyed by the whole family. We’re confident they will prove just as popular as the first programme of lessons we delivered last year and we’re really looking forward to delivering them.”
Each lesson is accompanied with a set of resources and worksheets as well as how-to-guides. Parents, teachers and children can receive these in advance of the lessons.