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Short films put spotlight on Outdoor Learning in the National Parks

28th October 2011

The spotlight falls on nine schools from around Scotland tonight (Friday 28th October 2011) as their films about outdoor learning in National Parks are premiered at Boat of Garten Community Hall.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority has supported the biennial National Parks Media Project since 2005 and for the first time, schools from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park have also taken part in this year’s event that is funded by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority (LLTNPA) and Education Scotland.

The funding provided film training opportunities for 45 young people and teachers in the nine secondary schools in both Parks as well as making further use of the equipment purchased in earlier phases of the project.

The short 12-minute films involved pupils mainly from S1 and S2 exploring how outdoor learning is being delivered in their school and how it is making links across learning, the Curriculum for Excellence and to the National Parks.

CNPA board member Brian Wood who is a former head teacher said: “The films provide a unique insight into how the National Parks are seen through the eyes of children. By recording and showcasing good examples of outdoor learning in both Parks, they will provide a legacy for the two-year National Parks Outdoor Learning project. As an educational resource they can also be used for the professional development and inspiration for other teachers to practise outdoor learning in their schools in line with the new Curriculum for Excellence.”

It is fitting that the film screening takes place on the same day as the 2nd Outdoor Learning in the National Parks conference at Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore. The outdoor learning focus of this year’s films will help to record and support the CNPA’s current activities in promoting outdoor learning in Scottish National Parks with LL&TNPA, the seven local authorities, Education Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Tonight’s screening will see pupils, parents, teachers, and partners take their seats to celebrate the films and in true cinematic style, tiered seating will be available to give an auditorium feel to proceedings.

James Downie, Learning Development Adviser at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “This project highlights the innovative ways in which we can engage pupils, providing provoking and challenging ways to learn about their environment. We have been impressed with the enthusiasm from pupils and this level of interest in the great outdoors really shines through with the films produced. Scotland’s National Parks provide some of the most inspiring landscapes for these budding film-makers and will hopefully inspire other pupils to explore what they can offer.”

Development Officer for Outdoor Learning in the National Parks, Alison Hammerton, said: “Now is a great time for outdoor learning with it being a key part of Curriculum for Excellence and partnership working can bring great added value as this project has demonstrated. With this in mind, the support provided by Aberdeenshire Council’s Media Unit who delivered the film training gives pupils opportunities to develop some fantastic skills while also giving them real life experiences through an exciting outdoor learning theme. We are really looking forward to seeing the finished films, with creativity, drama and imagination in abundance.”