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UK charity’s online environmental fieldwork lessons attract global audience

More than 255,000 school children across the UK and other parts of the world are to take part in a series of live online fieldwork lessons in geography and science this week.

The high-level of interest in the newly launched virtual sessions not only demonstrates young people’s continued commitment to the environment but also indicates a ‘strong willingness’ to learn at home whilst schools and colleges remain closed to the majority of pupils during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new #fieldworklive lessons in geography and science are being run by UK leading outdoor education charity the Field Studies Council in partnership with global learning provider Encounter Edu.

Starting on Monday, April 20, the lessons will be delivered by expert tutors via YouTube Live.environmental fieldwork lessons

They will run for two weeks until May 1 and there will be lessons suitable for primary children (aged 7-11 years), secondary school children (aged 11-14 years), GCSE/National 4/5 level students (aged 14-16 years) and those undertaking A Levels/Highers (aged 16-18 years).

To date, more than 255,000 school children have been registered by thousands of teachers to take part in the lessons. The majority of which are based in the UK but the FSC says the sessions are also attracting interest from as far afield as the USA, Tanzania, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Vietnam and Switzerland.

FSC Chief Executive Mark Castle said: “It’s magnificent to see such a positive response to these new online fieldwork lessons. It demonstrates that many teachers and young people are both committed and curious about the environment which is terrific.

This is a challenging time for everybody and not least teachers, parents and schoolchildren, the majority of which will be returning to a home-schooling set-up next week once the Easter break is over. We would usually be heading into the busiest period of the year welcoming hundreds of schools to our field study centres for a range of environmental courses but with centres closed we have devised these lessons so we can continue to support pupils, teachers, schools and parents. The widespread interest in them signals what we believe is a very strong willingness for continued learning about the environment. It also shows a continued commitment from schools and teachers to support the learning of students by providing and signposting remote learning opportunities such as #fieldworklive to their students.”

The #fieldworklive sessions aim to provide fun, interactive and immersive fieldwork opportunities in geography and science-related subjects and they will bring learning to life to support young people explore the world around the them.

For primary children, the fieldwork lessons will focus on soil, habitat and creative exploration. Secondary school sessions will look at weather, climate and freshwater ecosystems whilst GCSE/National 4/5 students (aged 14-16) will investigate quality of life in urban areas and coastal management.

  1. For students progressing between GCSE/National 4/5 studies and A-Levels/Highers the live fieldwork lessons will look at rocky shore ecology, hydrology and flooding, as well as investigating places.
  2. The online lessons are being supported by resource packs which teachers can use to help prepare students and follow-up webinars will also be available for teaching staff.

The FSC, which operates a network of residential field study centres around the UK, closed its doors in March in line with Government guidance on the Covid-19 outbreak.

Each year, more than 150,000 people experience teaching and learning through the FSC’s 27 learning locations and its publications and education resources help many more to get outside.

Despite current circumstances, the FSC remains determined to continue inspiring people to be curious, knowledgeable and passionate about the environment.

Further details about the new online lessons can be found on the FSC website here https://www.field-studies-council.org/2020/03/31/fsc-fieldworklive/ and via the FSC YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/FieldStudiesCouncil.

Information can also be found on Encounter Edu website https://encounteredu.com/live-lessons/fsc-fieldworklive-2020 and via the FSC’s social media channels on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #fieldworklive.

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