Training day gets teachers out of the classroom

April 18, 2013
Author: Hannah

Our Education Team has just had a great day running a teacher training session at Bosvigo Primary school in Truro, Cornwall, where 22 members of staff turned up a day early for the beginning of term for a very unusual mission….

….to explore a new planet (the playground) on a perilous space mission led by the intrepid Brigadier Barbie and Captain Ken Eden. It was tough journey into outer space, but the teachers survived the journey through the atmosphere – and once through the magic portal things started to take shape nicely.

Teachers at Bosvigo school in a training dayTogether, the space team worked out how to tell the time by making a simple sundial, studied new life forms on the planet and even got down to classifying the strange natural world around them.

This might all sound like a bit of a day off, but it was actually part of a special teacher training session to give Bosvigo’s teachers inspiration on teaching science outdoors. We designed each activity to introduce teachers to new ways of turning complicated subjects into a story that challenges pupils to use a range of skills, but which reaches the same curriculum outcomes as conventional learning methods.

We certainly had fun and the teachers told us the ‘enjoyable and inspirational day’ helped them realise that ‘the possibilities are endless’.

The team at Bosvigo showed that they could let their hair down and get stuck in to a day of muddy adventures – as well as engage in some serious discussion about learning outcomes and the National Curriculum.

Try this at school: Sound maps

Here’s one of the science-related activities that we introduced to the team at Bosvigo. It’s very adaptable and can inspire all sorts of interesting work in the classroom.

Many hunters spend a lot of time sitting still waiting for things to come to them. But this is a way you can hunt down sounds – and it works surprisingly well with the noisiest, most fidgety groups.

Child listening to sounds

Resources you’ll need:

  • Small pieces of paper or blank postcards
  • Pens
  • Ears

Instructions

  1. Give everyone a blank postcard or small piece of paper and a pen and ask them to draw a cross in the middle of it to represent themself.
  2. Space the group out and ask them to sit quietly and record the sounds that they hear. If the sound is on the left then mark it on the left, or behind, in front etc.
  3. You can ask them to draw the thing that makes the sound – or, if you want to stretch them, insist that they draw what the sound looks like.
  4. You could expand the discussion to talk about a sound landscape, which other animals need sound, how visually impaired people use sound, and even how people who live in quieter places have much better hearing than us!

We love running teacher training days, so if you feel that your school should do more teaching outside take a look at our website or give us a call on 01726 811913 to find out about the different ways we can help – wherever you are in the UK. 

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