As we reach the end of this first half term of the academic year, I have been reflecting on how well we have all managed to acclimatise to the new ‘normal’. It has been absolutely great to be back at school and to be teaching the children face to face once again. As ever, they have been amazing; they have adapted so well, shown immense resilience and have thrown themselves into their learning, always giving their best.
As a teacher of Humanities, I have previously written on this blog about the value and benefits of educational visits, learning in the field and the ‘outdoor classroom’. It is a great shame that we haven’t been able to do as many trips as we would have liked, however, we have still managed to appreciate our local natural environment. We have been able to get time outside each day for games and have even completed some outdoor learning, such as the recent F4 litter pick.
As we all look forward to a really well deserved half term break, I wanted to encourage you to try to keep the learning experiences going at home. When I was training to be a teacher (and subsequently), I have been encouraged to emphasise and appreciate the ‘awe and wonder’ of teaching a subject like geography. We don’t need to be sitting in a classroom to experience this, in fact, it is much harder to appreciate the scope and wonder of our environment indoors. As we are unlikely to be able to do much travelling or socialising over the half term break, might I suggest 4 simple things we could do over the holiday which should be both enjoyable and hopefully a little educational as well!
1. Get outdoors. I always feel really lucky to live in this great city. There are so many interesting buildings with a rich and diverse history. I have been trying to explore further afield myself by visiting new places at the weekends.
2. Use maps. There is a great ‘beginners guide to maps’ on the OS website and you can also download the App which I have found great fun to use with the family when out on walks. As a school we also subscribe to digimaps for schools devised by the University of Edinburgh. If you have a look at this you may find some really interesting information both historic and geographic about your local area. We are licensed to share the log in details with all members of the school community so please do take a look with the children if you get chance.
The website is https://digimapforschoo... Username: eh46hu Password: wimbed2619
3. Watch TV! Whilst this does tend to be a last resort in our house, there are some really enlightening documentaries which are both highly engaging and educational and may help ‘while away’ a bit of time (especially if it is raining outdoors). A recent watch I can highly recommend is My Octopus Teacher. A moving and intimate portrayal of the life of an octopus in a kelp forest in South Africa. I hadn’t realised quite what enigmatic, complex and intelligent creatures they are. We were totally transfixed by it at home.
4. Read a book. Again, for the days when we can’t get outside, I can recommend a book called Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. There is a child friendly hardback version of this book available on Amazon. The art work is beautiful and the text is accessible for children, giving them an insight into the political and social characteristics of the main nations around the world.
Above all, have a great half term break and all the better if you get the opportunity for a bit of ‘Awe and Wonder’!
Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.