smallWhat do you make of the research report from King’s College: the Understanding Environmental Education in Secondary Schools. Where is it, what is it and what should the future be?  It’s available here.  NAEE’s chair of trustees, has been blogging about the report, and you can read the first posts here.  Bill is writing in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the Association.

Let us know what you think.

.

Over 50 organizations and people in Scotland have signed a national position statement proposing that playing and learning outdoors should become “a fundamental part of growing up in Scotland.”  Among the signatories are the Scottish government, anti-poverty organization Inspiring Scotland, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Glasgow Science Centre, NHS Health Scotland and various education bodies.  The statement asserts the health, wellbeing and educational benefits of outdoor play and learning and commits signatories to helping to widen access to natural spaces and to make towns and cities more attractive to play in.  You can read more here.

.

The Geographical Association (GA) has published a national research report on geography and global learning which draws on research collected by the GA from a wide range of schools engaged in global learning, including via the UK government’s 2013-18 Global Learning Programme (GLP).  You can find out more and download a copy of the report here.  The report identifies some key features in quality geography and global learning drawn from good practice across the country. It presents evidence from schools and sets out some recommendations for future developments or programmes in this area.  GA Chief Executive Alan Kinder said:

“The critical importance of including international connections, so that the learning becomes truly global, stands out in this report. Its recommendations will be of interest to teachers, senior school leaders and others involved in education both in the UK and elsewhere.”

.

As people round the world become increasingly familiar with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how many of us know what we can do to reach them?   Their proposers say that the Good Life Goals represent an effort to answer this question and help a global audience to recognize the vital role of individual action in achieving the SDGs.  The Good Life Goals have been shaped through a multi-stakeholder collaboration between Futerra, the 10 YFP Sustainable Lifestyles and Education programme, represented by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).  You can read about them here.

.

Andrew’s Wood, a Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve saw the 10th ever sighting of a locust in England and Wales.  The species, which is usually found in Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, was thought by Buglife to be a likely stow-away.  Wherever it came from, it’s unlikely to survive the current cold weather, and there is no real possibility of a plague any time soon.

.

This year’s Outdoor Classroom Day is on Thursday 1st November.  The initiative is being led by Learning through Landscapes (LTL) across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  This year, Outdoor Classroom Day will focus on risky play and how this can teach children more about environmental risk.  It is hoped that the day will act as a catalyst to inspire more time outdoors on a daily basis: both at school and at home.  Its long-term aims include for children to have access to 90 minutes of playtime at school every day.   You can find out more here.

.

A paper in Ecological Entomology, argues that the vilification of the wasp is largely unwarranted as they pollinate flowers and crops and, as predators, help to control crop pests and disease-carrying insects.  The Times quoted the paper’s author, Dr Seirian Sumner, as saying:

We need to actively overhaul the negative image of wasps.  They are facing a similar decline to bees, and that is something the world can’t afford.  The problem, though, is that nobody can be sure of how much good wasps do.  … The root of the problem appears to be our longstanding, culturally ingrained lack of appreciation for [the role of wasps] in ecology and economy.  Perhaps if we valued wasps as we do bees, we would dislike wasps less.”

Maybe, but it might also help if they modified their anti-social behaviour first.

.

Cheering news from Haigh Woodland Park which is reconstructing a traditional way of animal and woodland management that nearly died out in the Middle Ages.  It is using English Saddleback Pigs to control some problem plant species such as bramble, himalayan balsam and japanese knotweed which out-compete native flora.   Happily, the pigs like them and allow natural regeneration through their foraging.  There’s more detail here.  Only those purists who think that it’s wrong to discriminate against invasive species are likely to object.

.

London’s Natural History Museum has identified 24 things to do in the museum if you’re an adult.  Some of these, the NHM says, might release your inner kid.   Some will clearly also be of interest to real children.  It’s ice rink is also open, just in time for the cold weather.

 

There’s a LEEF Storytelling Training Day next Monday 12th November 2018, 0930 – 1600 at the Geffrye Museum, Hoxton on using stories and storytelling to engage groups with nature and the environment.  LEEF says that you’ll learn about the importance of storytelling as a tool for engagement, and pick up plenty of practical activities that you can use with your schools and groups.  You will have the opportunity to practise your own storytelling skills and begin crafting tales based on techniques shared throughout the day.  You can book online.

.

Finally, NAEE’s AGM is being held this Saturday on November 3rd at Birmingham Botanic Gardens (a 1030 start).  All members welcome.