CASH-strapped schools are being given free access to an online treasure trove of videos and resources to help teachers deliver first-class fieldwork lessons to students.
The UK’s leading environmental education charity, the Field Studies Council, first launched its online Digital Hub last year to support secondary school teachers and students with their fieldwork element of geography and biology.
It was introduced as a paid service but as schools face continued financial pressures and budgets are squeezed, the charity is now making the resources freely available so that all students get first-hand experience of outdoor learning and fieldwork.
Lots of additional resources have also been added and the newly revamped Digital Hub Plus will be available to schools for the 2023/2024 academic year.
Digital learning officer Amy Bandaranayake said:
“As an environmental educational charity, we recognise that many schools are under pressure financially and it might not always be viable to organise residential trips where students would often learn vital fieldwork skills for subjects like geography, biology and environmental science.
“We don’t want students to fall behind or not be given the opportunity to learn those new skills so by making our resources accessible to all schools it means more teachers can have the confidence to deliver quality fieldwork lessons on-site at school or in local green spaces.
“We’ve totally revamped the contents and the hub now includes student-friendly resources for many fieldwork topics required for the main exam boards in geography, biology and environmental science, there is also a whole section devoted to teacher CPD content.”
In the first two weeks of launching the new Digital Hub Plus, the charity, which has provided environmental education to schools for more than 80 years, saw more than 170 teachers register for the resources.
The online content is grouped by subject topic for ready-to-go lessons including videos presented by the charity’s experienced fieldwork tutors. Teachers can also gain access to printable and downloadable worksheets and GIS story maps.
“Our role over the last 80 years has been to make sure all students have an opportunity to experience outdoor learning and gain a better understanding of fieldwork and those opportunities should still exist even when schools are struggling financially.”
The hub resources help students to develop investigative skills or encourage deeper thinking, both while preparing for fieldwork and for reflection and consolidation of learning afterwards.
To register for and access the hub, please visit: https://www.field-studies-council.org/digital-hub-plus/.