Lowther Endowed Primary and Shap CE Primary school children have been encouraged to use their senses to connect with their environment and friends in themed teaching sessions such as ‘Sensational Senses’, ‘Magical Mini-Beasts’, ‘Terrific Trees’ and ‘Fabulous Flowers’.
These ‘sensational’ sessions have been created to help those socially isolated children who have not been allowed to return to main school to come together in a safe space, meet friends and take part in outdoor learning in an attempt to try and reverse some of the ill effects from COVID 19 and the isolation that it imposes.
Home schoolers have been able to come into school grounds once a week for an hour to take part in this series of environmental education activities with Nicola Estill, Community Engagement Officer for the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme; funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Shap Primary home schoolers have been having fun making ‘smelly cocktails’ during a ‘Sensational Senses’ session using their sense of smell. They’ve been encouraged to use their sense of hearing to draw sound maps with chalk on the playground depicting the sounds of wind in the trees, dogs, children’s voices and birds. Their sense of touch has been used to find opposites on a scavenger hunt; something rough, something smooth, hard, soft, warm or cold.
Nicola Estill, Community Engagement Officer for the Westmorland Dales Scheme said: “The children have been brilliant at socially distancing and following procedures with equipment but most importantly they were back in a school environment and were able to meet each other again and take part in organised activities.
“The emphasis is on socialisation and shared experiences, creative thinking, self-expression, play, exercise, fresh air and environmental learning.
“It’s been a pleasure working with the children and I do hope I have the opportunity to show them the fantastic natural and cultural heritage in the Westmorland Dales when school life returns to normal.”
The sessions have involved 20 to 30 children in the same groups or ‘bubbles’ over consecutive weeks at Lowther Endowed Primary and Shap CE Primary schools.
The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme, which has been funded by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, aims to engage people in revealing, conserving, enjoying and sustaining the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales. More information about the scheme is available on its website at: www.thewestmorlanddales.org.uk