Caring For God's Acre > Case Studies > Community Involvement > Using The Education Pack With 8 & 9 Year Olds

Using The Education Pack With 8 & 9 Year Olds

Site

Bishops Castle Primary School, Oak Meadow, Bishops Castle, SY9 5PA

St John the Baptist Church, Bishops Castle, Shropshire SY9 5AF

Aim

‘We wanted to combine an educational visit to the local churchyard with science learning and also habitat creation within our school grounds’.

Action
Step 1
Searching for mini-beasts

Patrick Harris is the teacher of class 4 at the primary school. I met with him to see which activities within the Education Pack would be best suited to his work plan for the term. The class were covering invertebrates and taxonomy in Biology including working with keys. We looked at the mini-beast section of the pack and selected:

Top Tips for Mini-beast Hunting

Mini-beast Identification Key

Take a Closer Look

Bug Hotel

Step 2
Filling in ‘Take a closer Look’

Each child took a clipboard with a copy of the Top Tips, the Mini-beast Identification Key and several copies of Take a Closer Look. We took butterfly sweep nets, white trays, pooters and magnifying boxes with us, carried by the children. We also took an ipad which was used for photographing mini-beasts.

We walked to the churchyard and explained to the children about how to behave and to avoid the area with short mown grass and new graves. They then split into groups of 3 or 4 and set off to find invertebrates, using the Top Tips sheet to help them know where to look.

Step 3

The three adults present moved between the groups, encouraging them to look in different habitats and to use the nets, pooters and magnifying boxes. They all saw a wide variety of invertebrates which they were able to identify using the key and also filled out 3 or 4 ‘Closer Look’ sheets, inspecting an individual invertebrate in more detail and drawing it.

Using the magnifying boxes
Step 4

We had a group discussion about the site, where they were finding most wildlife and how that might compare to their school grounds. We agreed that we should make a home for mini-beasts back at school.

Step 5

We returned to school and started to build a bug hotel, using materials that we had collected previously or else found within the grounds (larch cones and bark were very common).

Sawing bamboo canes into little sections for the bug hotel

 

Costs

This is an easy trip out for a school with no costs attached. Burial grounds are often within walking distance and the education pack is self explanatory.

Results and Benefits

This visit helped to really bring the subject to life for the children and they enjoyed both aspects of the day; looking at invertebrates and building the bug hotel.

Building the first layer of the bug hotel
Issues and Lessons Learnt

A nice easy day with no problems although it is worth noting that several of the children wanted to talk about deceased relatives buried in the churchyard and so a listening adult was helpful.

Conclusions and Next Steps

The teachers at Bishops Castle Primary School are now aware of the Education Pack and have seen the breadth of the National Curriculum that it covers. Hopefully this will be the first of many visits.

Further Information

Caring for God’s Acre Education Pack –  download in English and Welsh

www.tes.com

www.hwb.wales.gov.uk

The Activity Sheets used for this activity are attached as PDFs below:

21 Top Tips for Mini-beast Hunting

7 Bug Hotel

22 Take a Closer Look

23 Mini-beast Identification Key