Cairngorms National Park

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Park Authority launches schools competition

28th October 2011

A competition to encourage schools across Scotland to raise understanding and awareness of the Cairngorms National Park and its special qualities amongst pupils is being launched at the Outdoor Learning in the National Parks conference at Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore today (Friday 28th October 2011).

The competition is being run by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) to encourage Curriculum for Excellence work and is open to pupils from early years to secondary school age.

Launching the competition at the conference, CNPA board member Brian Wood who is a former head teacher said: “We want schools to tell us about their work on the Cairngorms National Park and what difference this has had on their understanding of it. The work has to have taken place in the last 12 months and whilst it can be part of an ongoing project, it should mainly have already been completed.

“We are encouraging school children to be bold and creative in their approach and draw from all aspects of the curriculum and not just the obvious areas like geography and biology. In fact, arguably, the study of any subject can be enhanced by outdoor learning and using the rich environment of our National Parks as an extension to the normal classroom.”

The competition is free to enter and schools can draw on the full spectrum of outdoor learning opportunities available. There are three age categories: early years and lower primary 3-8 years old; upper primary 8-12 years old; and secondary 12-16 years old.

There will be 1st and 2nd prize grants of £300 and £150 respectively awarded to develop outdoor learning in each age category as well as a framed winners certificate and a National Park flag. Winning entries will also be promoted on the Learning pages of the Cairngorms National Park Authority website as well as Education Scotland and GLOW websites.

Entries should cover activities, projects, visits and training undertaken on the Park and how this work has helped deliver Curriculum for Excellence in the school. Explaining how pupils, teachers and partners have been involved in developing this work and what schools would do with the grant to further develop outdoor learning opportunities at their school should also be included.

Education and Inclusion Manager at the CNPA, Claire Ross, said: “Winning schools may want to use their prize grant to buy resources such as books, outdoor clothing, cameras and seeds. Alternatively it could be used to pay for travel costs to the Cairngorms National Park, where a Countryside Ranger can provide free sessions on anything from wildlife and bushcraft to land management.”

The CNPA is keen that pupils are involved in the initial submission as much as possible and to help support their applications they can find out more about the Cairngorms National Park at www.cairngormslearningzone.co.uk and www.cairngorms.co.uk

A panel consisting of a CNPA board member, CNPA officer, a Director of education and Education Scotland officer will look at all entries and decide on the ones that are most innovative and best meet the assessment criteria.

For further information contact Alan Smith at the CNPA on 01479 870518, email: [email protected] Closing date for entries will be in the Spring of 2012.