For the last four weeks the JMA class have been working with Primary 5 pupils from Stoneywood Primary. The seniors have been teaching nature lessons to the primary pupils. Stoneywood pupils divided themselves into three groups called, the Worms, Squirrels and Rabbits. The senior pupils designed three interesting lessons each week and the Primary 5 pupils rotated around each work station.
The lessons have taken place at Sclattie Wood where seven primary students from the University of Aberdeen came to help and this will mean that they can gain their John Muir Discovery Awards alongside the pupils and teachers. Due to cold conditions, some lessons have taken place in school. Stoneywood pupils were given opportunities to explore Sclattie Wood through environmental games and were taught lessons about John Muir, how nature inspired him, the environmental work he undertook in his lifetime and the work that continues through The John Muir Trust today. Lessons were also given on worms, badgers, foxes, birds, vertebrates and invertebrates. On a visit to Buckburn Academy, the children learned about animal tracks and the energy that is in food. They visited one of the science labs and carried out a food test with Miss Shanley.
This has been a special project where senior pupils have learned the skills of teaching which has also helped them understand how people learn. By thinking about how to teach others, the class have gained a special insight into their own learning and their responsibilities as role models and responsible citizens. Miss Shanley has noticed how the confidence of the seniors has grown as they have been given more responsibility. She has been impressed by the quality of work and the enthusiasm which the John Muir class have shown in the lessons they have produced and in the way they delivered these lessons in such a creative and mature way.
Mrs Ure the Stoneywood Primary 5 teacher commented, “The Primary 5 pupils can’t wait for Friday mornings. They count down the days to their lessons with the John Muir class. They are so enthusiastic about the project and their lessons. They are learning so much and the knowledge and skills they have gained, thanks to the seniors, is impressive. This is the Curriculum for Excellence at its best. The older pupils have prepared excellent lessons and put so much work into them”.
The Sclattie Wood Outdoor Classroom Project will continue for several months with 4 week rotas on Friday mornings for Bucksburn, Newhills and Kingswells Primary Schools.
For more information about the John Muir Award and other projects at Bucksburn Academy please click here.