Barbara is a member of the expert panel for the Heritage Council’s Heritage in Schools Scheme.
Testimonials from visits in 2018
“The feedback from children at all class levels was fantastic. The week of workshops generated a whole school interest in pollinators and nature study and a gardening group project was set up to grow flowers and vegetables.”
“We really enjoyed Barbara’s workshop. She has an excellent rapport with the children and her style of education is fun engaging and meaningful”
“The children had a wonderful week exploring nature and the environment.”
What is ‘Heritage in Schools’?
The scheme aims to encourage awareness of the genius of the natural and cultural world that surrounds us in our daily lives and engage children in a direct experience of their heritage.
Barbara aims to awaken and nurture interest in the natural environment, through direct engagement with it. Children are encouraged to directly experience nature, to become aware of the local environment, and to explore how people have done so in the past.
Barbara is a certified Forest School Leader, holds degrees in Archaeology and Geography and is a long term volunteer with the Irish Wildlife Trust. For more information visit About Reconnect with Nature.
Field trips to Forest School
Field trips to local woodland or parks – what better way to learn about nature than to immerse yourself in it?
Forest School sessions comprise of a range of activities that will allow children to experience nature directly, such as:
- Games – raising sensory awareness, exploring animal habitats and behaviours, local plants and trees, as well as team building games.
- Naturalist Activities – activities to learn about plants, animals, environment as a whole.
- Seasonal Activities – exploring changes in the landscape and it’s resources through seasons.
- Survival Skills and Bushcraft – exploring shelter, safety, tool use, foraging
- Our place in the environment – today and in years gone by, ways of caring for our environment, living with nature in our lives.
Repeat visits are strongly encouraged, allowing activities to embrace seasonal developments and changes, and children to build a rapport with the natural environment.
Expert visits to school grounds
As with field trips, all elements of school visits will take place in the outdoor environment.
Ahead of the visit, the aim and learning goals can be specified by the school staff.
What do you want to get from this visit? What topic are you covering and feel you would like to reinforce by direct learning experiences? I then plan the content of my visit accordingly.
The range of activities are similar to those outlined above, however there will be significant variation on the content depending on the school grounds (i.e. it’s terrain and available resources – are natural or semi-natural places available? Where there is nothing I will source materials to bring with me, and we will be learning outdoors!).
Themes you may wish to explore – this is not an exhaustive list but designed to inspire:
- Seasonality: What is happening in our local environment?
- Connections: people and their environment, then and now.
- Weeds! Nuisance or not?
- Food chains, hierarchies and connectedness.
- What’s all this talk about pollinators?
- Workshops supporting your work towards your biodiversity green flag.
- Archaeology – just a bunch of old rubbish?
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a theme you are planning for your lessons and I will propose activities to support your existing planning. Subjects covered are Geography, Science and History.
Natural environments (Geography), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Human environments (Geography), Living things (Science), Local Studies (History), Early people and ancient societies (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Continuity and change over time (History).
All sessions follow Cornell’s principle of flow learning, guiding participants through four stages:
- Awaken Enthusiasm – creating an atmosphere of curiosity, amusement, or personal interest.
- Focus Attention – concentrating on one physical sense to become calm, observant and receptive to surroundings.
- Experience Directly – absorbing, experiential activities that give deep, inner sense of belonging and understanding.
- Share Inspiration – giving opportunity to reflect and share on what has been learned.
Duration of session
Day long visits to schools will usually be divided into three sessions of 1.5 hours each, or two longer sessions upon request.
Where visits to local parks or woods are possible, the day will be divided into two half day sessions.
For additional details and booking information please visit Barbara’s Heritage in Schools Profile