jma-144-orange-2009

The importance of the outdoors explained really well. http://www.gtcs.org.uk/News/teaching-scotland/68-a-natural-approach.aspx

We are working towards John Muir Awards in our school, these awards entail Discover a wild place, Explore it, Conserve it and Share your learning. Parental support is invaluable for supporting the learning within school as well as out so we thank you for this.

The first level of award is the Discovery award which is the equivalent of 4 days in the outdoors.  We are providing four days of outdoor learning for S1 to enable them to achieve their John Muir Discovery Award.  After being in the outdoors, the pupils then need to gather their learning together so that they can share it with parents,  the school and wider community.  Some time to gather their learning will be provided in their weekly ‘Wider Achievement’ period in school, however the more time pupils spend on finding a suitable way to share their learning, the better this can be.

As our pupils, parents and staff all see Outdoor Learning as a focus for the school, we have full backing from our school community for the John Muir Awards so we are very grateful for the support.

As we can never depend on the weather in Shetland, pupils must come to school prepared, suitably dressed for the weather and prepared to be outside for the majority of the day.  Thanks to Cooke Aquaculture, the school now have a full set of waterproofs for each child.

Other things to ensure your child has is:-

  • suitable footwear,
  • layers of clothing (so that they can add a layer or two when required),
  • a rucksack lined with a waterproof bag (which they can wear on their back to contain their layers of clothing),
  • hat and gloves (scarf is optional).

Based on the class preferences we have decided to spend the 4 days doing the following:-

  • each day we will be doing a sealife survey at a specific point in Unst, which can be compared throughout the year.
  • Keen of Hamar day – find out about the nature reserve and what makes it so special and do a litter/bruck pick up
  • Hermaness day – find out about the national nature reserve and why it’s nationally important and remove old wooden boards from old path system
  • School grounds work working towards improving the outdoor areas in the school grounds so that pupils can learn and enjoy being outdoors as much as possible
  • Germinating plants and seeds found out about in Unst in school.

The dates are as follows:-

Thursday 3rd November

Tuesday 17th January

Monday 13th March

56 trees planted in school grounds

Thursday 11th May

The days will consist of pupils coming to school as normal and having a bit of a introduction to the day and look at the learning focus for the day, I intend that these are very personal and specific to each person.  Then before we head out, pupils will be able to access the tuckshop and then we will leave school for the morning, returning at lunchtime.  We will then return outdoor after lunch before having a plenary session just before the end of the school day.

As we also would like to continue our ‘Let da steens speak’ intergenerational project if you or anyone you know would like to contribute to telling our pupils about any of the above areas of Unst please get in touch with Mrs Tulloch.

Pupils are given the opportunity to progress to the Explorer John Muir award (equivalent of 8 outdoor days) during S2 and then pupils who choose to continue in S3/4 with the John Muir Award will be given some time to work towards their Conserver award (equivalent 20 outdoor days) during that two years.

S2 Explorers are keen to develop a program which takes on board their ideas and interests, so we have a focus on photography; reflection and space in the outdoors; sealife watching; journeying and culture and heritage. Explorer dates and activities are as follows:-

Based on the class preferences we have decided to spend the 8 days doing the following:-

  • each day we will be doing a sealife survey at a specific point in Unst, which can be compared throughout the year.
  • Keen of Hamar day – find out about the nature reserve and what makes it so special and do a litter/bruck pick up
  • Hermaness day – find out about the national nature reserve and why it’s nationally important and remove old wooden boards from old path system
  • School grounds work working towards improving the outdoor areas in the school grounds so that pupils can learn and enjoy being outdoors as much as possible
  • Germinating plants and seeds found out about in Unst in school.
  • Hermaness peat restoration – in the eroded parts of the paths
  • Norwick dunes – thistle removal
  • Beach litter survey – gathering rubbish and trying to identify where it came from
  • Keen of Hamar – blitz of the Common Chickweed

The dates are as follows:-

Thursday 3rd November

Monday 28th November

Tuesday 17th January

John Muir Award – Easting Beach

Thursday 16th February

John Muir Award – Peatland Restoration and Tree planting


Monday 13th March

56 trees planted in school grounds


Tuesday 25th April

John Muir Day – School Grounds Work


Thursday 11th May

Monday 19th June http://unst.org/web/bjhs/2017/06/22/peat-restoration/

Thank you for supporting the school by helping your child be prepared for this exciting opportunity.

 

S3 Conservers are taking on a personal/self guided element to their days, from focussing on beaches; Hermaness; coastal journeying. The dates so far are as follows:-

Thursday 3rd November

Sunday 6th November

Sunday 13th November

Monday 28th November

Tuesday 17th January

John Muir Award – Easting Beach

Thursday 16th February

Monday 13th March

Tuesday 25th April

Thursday 11th May

Monday 19th June http://unst.org/web/bjhs/2017/06/22/peat-restoration/

Outdoors – Woodwick with Rob and Matty