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CEL home > Issues > Last updated March 2009

Education Sunday - 8 Feb 2009

The Theme for 2009 was "God's world is a Gift on Trust" - see CofE website and there is useful material there

The Theme for 2010 is ....

However Environmental Education is important whatever the year

Judith Allinson (CEL's Web Editor) writes:

In our prayers on this day let us give thanks to, and for, teachers for taking children on field trips and nature walks, and for parents associations and school governors who support this.

Many children nowadays do not get into the countryside - it is too far away from where they live - or parents are worried about safety- or the countryside has been changed into huge arable fields with no access.

Many of us who are concerned about nature have the interest because we have had first hand experience - climbing a mountain or playing in a meadow or catching tiddlers and shrimps in a stream. Many children nowadays do not have this experience.,

I used to teach at Malham Tarn Field Centre where children come and have a brilliant time in the countryside, a good social time and also learn a lot of geography and ecology.

I also remember myself as a youngster being taken on and sent on good field trips and a walking holiday whilst at school and on two church youth weekends.

Looking back I am now very grateful for being sent as a child/teenager.

I am very grateful that teachers make the effort to send students to Malham and other Field Centres. And I know it is an effort for some of them.

These events would not happen if teachers (and others) did not spend a lot of time and effort in organising or in encouraging students to go. In many schools children are not sent. They do not have the opportunity to "BE" in the countryside.

Sometimes teachers - or head teachers do not want the hassle. They are more worried about the danger of being sued if there is an accident, or they have so many other responsibilities at the school that they have no time to organise this.

So a big thank you
to Teachers and Sunday School Teachers and Youth Leaders who have taken children to the countryside

and to the farmers who let people go on their land.


Could you write to your MP and campaign to get more fieldwork taught in the syllabus and more opportunity for children to visit the countryside?

Fieldwork facts

taken from Field Studies Council (FSC) website (The Field Studies Council has 17 centres throughout the UK)
  • FSC field course lengths have halved in 15 years
  • Fieldwork is not compulsory in schools in any subject other than geography
  • Fewer than 1 in 20 lower secondary science pupils have a residential field trip despite thinking this is the most interesting bit of their science education
  • Trainee teachers do not have to do any practical training in running outdoor classes
  • A third of trainee biology teachers may not have done fieldwork themselves at any time in their own education
  • A majority of consultants and agencies working in the environment sector can't recruit staff with suitable field skills

Write to your local MP and tell him some of the above facts.

More on campaigning

CEL Environment Awareness Course (A downloadable book)
Ringsfield Eco-Study Centre
Field Studies Council
Find out about your local Wildlife Trust
Carymoor Environmental Centre
Living Waterways - A Rocha Environmental Education Project





Shining pondweed collected from the Tarn

Meeting a calf

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