Rocks and soil, science and social studies – a weekend of outdoor learning

FSC Scotland teamAs always, March is a hectic month of education conferences. Many organizations are holding their annual events, including the Scottish Mathematical Council, Scottish Guidance Association and Scottish Teachers Enhancing Practice. The weekend of 6th to 8th March is particularly busy for anyone involved in outdoor learning, and Field Studies Council Scotland is packing in three events!

On Friday and Saturday we’ll be at the Association for Science Education (ASE) Scotland Annual Conference in Aberdeen. The theme is ‘Energising your Future’, and our lively exhibition stand will focus on biology and environmental science fieldwork and include activities and information about FSC Kindrogan and Millport.

The Royal Scottish Geographical Society ‘Scotland Rocks’ Conference runs over the weekend in Perth, aimed at Higher Geology and Physical Geography teachers and pupils. On the Sunday we’re delivering a practical workshop in celebration of 2015 being the International Year of Soils! Delegates will learn about the importance of soil for food, climate change, ecosystems and sustainable development, and have opportunities to try out a variety of soil fieldwork techniques.

Education Scotland’s event in Scone on the Saturday has a broader, less technical focus. Supporting Outdoor Learning in Early Years & Primary Schools is for ‘those who are starting out on their outdoor learning journey and wish to develop their confidence in taking the curriculum outdoors’. As well as having an exhibition stand, we’ll be running a professional development workshop on how to deliver social studies outdoors. Focusing on history and geography, we’ll explain how to engage learners through innovative use of the environment – such as creating a scale plan of a Viking house on a beach.

It’s true that webinars and online ‘hangouts’ enable people to ‘gather’ and learn from each other without leaving their desks. But it’s hard to replicate the benefits of conferences like these. We’re looking forward to helping delegates gain a fresh perspective, get some hands-on experience, learn new skills and make new contacts – come and say ‘hello’!

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