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Pupils Outdoor Nature Detectives - The Film



Hampshire Outdoor Science Curriculum Group (HOSCUG) had been meeting for a couple of years to explore ways in which science can more often be taught outside.

South East Grid for Learning (SEGFL) were keen for the group to explore a science theme which could also involve the use of information, communication technology.

The venue for the initial day was the environmental area that has been established in the grounds of Hook with Warsash Primary School to the west of Fareham. The host school plus 5 other local schools selected 4 pupils who were excelling at Science to participate in the project. Four schools (Ranvilles Junior, Castle Primary, Hook with Warsash and Harrison Primary) brought KS2 pupils and two (Oak Meadow Primary and Meonstoke Infants) brought KS1 children. The programme for the day covered the introduction to the SEGfL micro-site system, instruction and practice in the use of data-loggers, the earthworm survey and a pond investigation. A full day, certainly, but one that the children seemed to relish.
Pauline Patterson, Hampshire adviser for science, led the project and the introductory day when the children from the six participating schools came together for the first time. The day was divided into three sessions and two schools worked together in three groups. Through the day children conducted ‘The national Earthworm survey', a pond study and learnt how to use data loggers, digi blue cameras and to upload data onto the segfl micro-site.


Dr Richard Osmond, owner of the Hi-Teck Wild-Trek trailer, (a mobile field laboratory) and the resident expert explains what happened on the inaugural day. "My role within the project was to use the Hi-Tech Wild-Trek trailer to help generate the initial stimulus, provide suggestions for additional ways to work with pond animals, and to be available through an on-line forum to offer advice. I work with thousands of children each year when I take the Hi-Tech Wild-Trek trailer into schools or to public events. The trailer is a mobile field laboratory equipped to collect and sample from the habitats it visits and to record and display the animals that are captured. The emphasis is creating a high-impact visual display of the animals in action by using video cameras and a projected image that enlarges small creatures to the point where they become seriously impressive.

"It was a great day, lots of fun. It was good to find out what lives in a damaged pond. We have learnt more ICT skills and like writing about things we have done. We are really looking forward to seeing it on the website and are excited about the flashmeeting." Charlotte and Isabelle Hook with Warsash.


The opportunity to exchange data and ideas with other interested children in the near vicinity via the microsite and the termly use of video should help to maintain this initial enthusiasm. Regular visits to the school pond will allow time to develop an interest in some of the less obvious animals and will also provide an opportunity to watch changes that take place as the season progresses: one group has already reported the presence of adult dragonflies and watched their territorial behaviour. The children have also noticed that their ponds are now full to brimming! They were concerned that may had become almost puddles. Richard Osmond our 'expert' reported that this is quite a common phenomena!

Thanks also go to : Fran Grove from Castle Primary School, Sue Bridger - Hook with Warsash Primary School, Melanie Sharpe - Harrison Primary School,  Sue Restell - Meonstoke Infant School, Julia Oak - Meadow Primary School.


Pond researchers