If You Go Down In The Woods Today

St Mun's Primary

This Interdisciplinary Topic “If You Go Down In The Woods Today” aims to encourage children to develop a curiosity and understanding of the environment and their place in the living, material and physical world, through a child led investigation into the effect on insect population /numbers, caused by the introduction of 'foreign' trees and plants to Scotland.

By taking part in a variety of activities, which aim to develop their skills of scientific inquiry and investigation using practical techniques, the children will investigate factors affecting plant growth and develop their understanding of the positive and negative impact of the human population on the environment, specifically if the introduction of 'foreign' trees and plants could have a detrimental effect on the indigenous insect/animal population.

The project will involve other groups in the community including the staff at the local Botanic Gardens, Forestry Schools and interested parents. The aim is that children will gain a greater understanding of the natural life surrounding them and then be able to relate this Globally.

Jodie Blincow (Project Lead) Class teacher - Drew up the action plan having been inspired after attending NAS11211 A Summer School for Primary Teachers. Always keen to broaden her horizons, she attended this outdoor science course to help deepen her knowledge of the environment in order to then pass it on to the children. An ex police officer, she has been teaching for 10 years and has a background in sport, where she still runs marathons and half marathons and English Literature. She is looking forward to the challenge of the project.

Liz-Ann Matrecano - Class Teacher - Liz-Ann is the Primary 1 teacher and was previously the Eco Co-ordinator, she won the school its first Green Flag. With a background in industry, like Jodie she came into teacher later. She has been teaching in Primary 1 for the last 2 years where she strongly believes in the children learning through play. She is looking forward to working on the project.

Louise O'Kane - Class Teacher - Louise is the new Eco Co-ordinator for the school and is currently working on renewing the Green Flag. In her second year as a teacher, she currently has the Primary 4 class and is also responsibe for the Eco Committee, which is made up of children from each of the 7 classes in the school as well as members of the teaching and support staff. Louise is looking forward to working on the project and hopes to use it to help secure the Green Flag.

Alison Currie - Head Teacher Cowal Area Support Team - Alison is head of Learning Support. Based in Dunoon Grammar School she is responsible for providing support for children with additional support needs in the school and its feeder Primaries. For the last 11 years Alison has taken a group of children to Costa Rica to help at a conservation station for Leatherback Turtles, culminating in a trek through the Rainforest. Alison and the group want to work with the children at St. Mun's on their project and share their experience and knowledge.

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