Teachers invited to South Downs National Park event

Pupils from Midhurst Primary School enjoy an after exam forest treat ENGSUS00120130517181041
Pupils from Midhurst Primary School enjoy an after exam forest treat ENGSUS00120130517181041

TEACHERS are being invited to a special event at the South Downs Centre in Midhurst designed to highlight outdoor learning opportunities across the South Downs National Park.

The free event on Thursday, March 5 is packed with information for teachers wanting to find out more about opportunities for outdoor learning in the National Park.

More than 1,600 teachers are already using the South Downs National Park as a resource to teach more than 74,000 pupils and there will be a chance to hear what some of them have learned from their own experiences.

Key note speakers will be Mark Sears, director of the ‘Wild Network’, and Easebourne Primary School headteacher, Jonathan Culley who moved from Harting school last year.

“The South Downs National Park is an amazing resource for teachers,” said Amanda Elmes, learning and outreach officer for the authority.

“It’s free and pretty much on the doorstep for more than 700 schools in Sussex and Hampshire. Through our online ‘learning portal’ teachers can get their hands on ideas and resources for using the South Downs to bring the entire curriculum to life. The conference is a chance for people to share their experiences and find even more inspiration.”

Through the ‘Our South Downs’ project more than 6000 students from more deprived communities have been able to access travel grants to visit learning providers in the national park.

A key part of conference will be the chance to take part in practical, hands-on activities to take back to the classroom.

These 12 workshops cover a wide range of subjects including ‘campfire carbon calculator’ where those taking part will make charcoal in a tin and look at some simple measuring techniques to calculate the mass carbon stored in trees.

There will also be a ‘poo and pawprints’ workshop giving the chance to learn how to identify different animal prints, lay an animal print trail, play tracking games and make plaster impressions of paw prints.

Readers can find out more and book a place by visiting learning.southdowns.gov.uk/help/our-south-downs-conference