Teachers – are you using us enough?

A new term is underway and the Christmas holidays feel like a dream you woke up from too early, but don’t panic. We have a Learning Zone packed full of locally-relevant resources ready for you to use across the entire curriculum. South Downs Education Officer Jonathan Dean shares five ways the National Park can inspire your class this spring and beyond.

Words by Jonathan Dean

The South Downs National Park is an incredible, living-landscape and I’m lucky enough to see first-hand how it can capture children’s imaginations. If you want to bring the National Park to life for your class here are some of my favourite tools – ready and waiting for you on our Learning Zone.

  1. Where to get started?
    The South Downs is a big place and the learning possibilities are near limitless. Deciding where to start isn’t easy, which is why we’ve created the South Downs Curriculum Jigsaw, which puts National Curriculum topics in a South Downs context. Use it as a starting point to plan your topics for next term.
  2. Where to take your class?
    You’ve used the curriculum to plan your topic but now you need a trip that will bring it all to life. Use the Learning Map to search for education providers – filtering your results by postcode, age group and curriculum area. All the contact details are there to make it simple and easy for you to plan your class’ next adventure.
  3. The National Park at night
    When the sun goes down in the South Downs a whole host of animals come out to play, including budding astronomers. Find some of the best spots for stargazing and learn about why the National Park decided to also become one of only 11 International Dark Sky Reserves. The Dark Night Skies resources toolbox has activities and ideas to learn more about constellations and light pollution.
  4. The John Muir Award
    What better way to really learn about National Parks than to follow in the footsteps of John Muir, often described as the ‘founding father’ of National Parks. Lead your class on a journey of discovery, exploration, conservation and sharing as they achieve this national environmental award. It’s free, easy to use and everyone that completes the award gets their own certificate.
  5. All the other resources
    Yes, this is cheating but we have hundreds of activities, worksheets, case studies and more available for you. Use our Resource Finder to search by key stage and subject area. Or browse the Learning Zone by theme looking for the resources toolbox at the bottom of each page as well as photo albums, fun facts and links to other interesting websites.

Need more help? Drop us an email learning@southdowns.gov.uk

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Booking is now open for our free Schools Conference on 21 March 2018