Celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day with the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre

Annabel Rushton

Wednesday 15 May 2019

With #OutdoorClassroomDay just around the corner on Thursday 23 May, the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre are celebrating their recent success and are inviting teachers to turn into students this summer, to experience the exciting outdoor adventures that the Fairhaven Lake site has to offer.

Having recently appointed a new Learning and Visitor Experience Officer the Ribble Discovery Centre are off to a flying start this season with school bookings coming in thick and fast for the Summer Term.

Jo Taylor, newly appointed RSPB Learning and Visitor Officer at the Ribble Discovery Centre said: “There’s been a real flurry of bookings at the site over these last few weeks, it’s great to see so many schools wanting to broaden their science curriculum with our inspiring, sessions out of the classroom. Our well-known programmes build on learning that has already taken place in the classroom and help support with a new topic or project, giving children an exciting, hands-on experience in nature.”

Studies have shown that engaging children with the natural world is a great method to implement relevance and realism. Children who understand and interact with their environment are likely to develop a deeper sense of responsibility and a more supporting and caring attitude towards it.  There are also many proven benefits to mental and physical wellbeing by spending time outdoors.

Despite this, recent Ofsted research has found that teachers often lack confidence and knowledge in science delivery outside of the classroom. In some schools focus on science has been deprioritised with the concentration being on the teaching of maths and English.  However, with the introduction of the new Ofsted framework due in September 2019, there will be greater emphasis on the delivery of a broader science curriculum

To help boost teacher confidence in this subject and showcase the outstanding outdoor learning experience on offer at the Ribble Discovery Centre, the RSPB, in partnership with the local Science Learning Partnership (SLP) and STEM ambassadors will be offering a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) day for primary science leaders on 1 July, 2-4pm. Teachers will be able to experience the RSPB’s unique mud habitat study first hand.

Sarah Conron from the Science Learning Partnership said: “Lancashire Science Learning Partnership are delighted to be working collaboratively with Ribble Discovery Centre to provide hands on CPD to local primary teachers. This is a fantastic opportunity for teachers to experience how pupils can learn effectively outside the classroom and apply their knowledge and understanding at a deeper level in unfamiliar contexts. There will be a limited number of spaces so book early to avoid disappointment, as we are anticipating it being very popular.”

For those hoping to book their class trip to the Ribble Discovery Centre, there are just a few spaces left for the last half of the Summer Term, but there are fantastic opportunities still available to undertake sessions in the Autumn Term.

All sessions on offer are curriculum linked.  Via their hands-on, exploratory nature they empower pupils to investigate and discover, thus providing a real link to the intention and substance of the science curriculum.

Jo Taylor concluded: “Our feedback so far has been fantastic with all teachers stating that their children have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions, learnt lots and been engaged the whole time! If you haven’t been before, haven’t been for a while, or are a regular who hasn’t yet booked, please get in touch.”

For full details of the schools programmes available at the Ribble Discovery Centre visit www.rspb.org.uk/ribblediscoverycentre. For further details on the Development Day for teachers and to ask questions, email jo.taylor@rspb.org.uk.

Tagged with: Topic: Experience nature Topic: Ribble Discovery Centre