Both myself and my husband (David McGrath, Zoologist) are members of the Heritage in Schools Specialists panel, organised by the Heritage Council of Ireland
We visit many of our local (and further afield ) Primary schools through this scheme, teaching young children about nature and encouraging them to develop an awareness of the natural world around them.
See our profiles on Heritage in Schools website:
Our school visits include hands on outdoor activities and creative elements.
During lockdown 2021 we developed a teacher lead an online HIS programme for Primary school children.
Our 15 minute tutorial for teachers entitled “Pollination- How nature makes our fruits and seeds” is presently available for 3ird to 6th class pupils
Here is a link to a short introduction to this tutorial
This programme can also be delivered personally through booking a school visit.
The 15 minute tutorial is sent to the teacher along with our specially designed accompanying teachers notes, it is presented to the children by the teacher and contains prompts for pauses, quizzes and even the option to learn the bumble bee dance!.
As the outdoor element to our in-person visits to Primary Schools was an important part of our learning programmes we designed a worksheet for children which allows them to carry out a biodiversity assessment of their school grounds (also teacher lead)
How it works
After the teacher goes through the tutorial with the pupils (tutorial contains fun activities including quizzes and dance) the pupils conduct their school yard biodiversity assessment we then have a virtual visit with the pupils…….here we meet the children and discuss their findings and how they would rate their school grounds for biodiversity and what improvement actions they would like to carry out – this is enhanced by a PowerPoint presentation that we give them prior to our discussions.
During our virtual visit we also carry out a guided flower dissection, with step by step live instructions on how to draw the structures of a flower, in particular those associated with pollination
Using the dissected flower material the children finish with some art work…….here creativity takes over…..I am always amazed at the results when children are allowed to be their unhindered creative selves….
Outlook for future online workshops
We have received excellent feedback from many national schools in Co’s Kerry, Clare, Limerick and Galway (see HIS website testimonials). We hope to develop a similar programme for junior classes.
( Although we both deliver many other Nature Learning Programmes in house (native tree identification, winter twigs, fresh water minibeasts, seaweeds, local habitats exploration etc ), we were limited in our online programme choices as this was the second stage of the pilot scheme.