Education

Go Wild! Working with schools to bring children closer to nature

The Manx Wildlife Trust has a strong commitment to education and believes that learning about the Island’s environment and wildlife is an integral part of education - exploring the natural world should be a part of every child’s life.

Education Officer Kath Smith with schoolchildren.

Each year the Trust, through its Education Officer, educates and inspires thousands of school-age children, teachers and parent helpers about nature.

By encouraging everyone to get closer to nature and through first-hand experiences, we all gain a greater understanding and enjoyment of the natural world and our place within it.

Activities can be based in the classroom, village hall, or in the school or club grounds. Trips to one of the Trust's many nature reserves, to the beach or to a glen can also be organised.

Typical activities include, but are not limited to:

Around the school & club grounds:

  • Minibeast safaris
  • Trees, plants and flowers
  • Local habitats

Indoor activities:

Aseries of powerpoint presentations, some with interactive sections which are ideal introductions to many school topics:

  • Manx wildlife under threat
  • Manx rivers & wildlife
  • Nature in the garden/Being green
  • Biodiversity/Amazing Manx wildlife
  • Introduction to Manx coasts
  • Marine life/Under the sea
  • Interdependence & adaptation/Food chains & webs

All presentations are adapted to the Key Stages and many topics are best followed up with outdoor sessions. 

Out & About

Near or far, in a glen or on the beach, we’re happy to tailor activities to work in with your needs and plans.

Education Officer Kath Smith with schoolchildrenSo, as well as the popular sites of the Ayres, Scarlett, Cooildarry and Garey ny Cloie Gardens (at DEFA, St Johns), we can also arrange activities in a nearby open space, park, glen, plantation or beach.

Past locations have included Silverdale Glen, the Arboretum, Ballaugh Plantation, Ballannette Nature Reserve, Poylldooey Nature Reserve, South Barrule Plantation, beaches at Ramsey, Port Erin, Peel, Laxey, Douglas and Port St Mary. There is always somewhere nearby to visit.

Sessions can also include a wide variety of environmental activities and games such as scavenger hunts, themed walks, nature detectives, beach life, id quizzes, smelly cocktails, colour match cards, natural art, bat’n’moth, build a tree, sparrowhawk! and much, much more......just ask!

Sessions are full of fun and as well as being fantastic learning experiences

Positive feedback

RockpoolingHere's what some of the pupils had to say about their day out: 

“It was really fun doing the rockpooling and I found out a lot about marine life. The trip was ace; I would like to do it again”

“I didn’t know we had so much wildlife on the Isle of Man. My favourite animal was the kestrel. It was amazing”

“Thank you for a wonderful trip to the Ayres. I found it fascinating, learning about the different habitats and seeing the wildlife”

And from a teacher:

"I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for yet another enjoyable trip last week. The kids really enjoyed it and the feedback from them has been great - they certainly know a lot more about Manx Ecology now as evidenced by some of the lovely presentations they have done for me this morning. Very impressed with some of the new vocab they have learnt as a result of your hard work!

Rockpooling"It is really appreciated by the staff and especially by the pupils - many of whom had never set foot in that part of the Island before. One boy commented to me that "he was trying to take lots of photographs to help him remember everything as he would probably never get to travel this far again"! Thanks for a wonderful day, you never fail to do a brilliant job for us."

Risk assesements & supervision 

Risk assessments are carried out for all Trust locations and activities and help can be given for other sites.

Teachers and adult supervisors remain responsible for discipline and should ensure their pupils are adequately supervised at all times. We ensure that risks are reduced to a minimum. Teachers remain responsible for the care of any children who have had accidents.

Support

Nedbank Private Wealth have kindly agreed to support the work of the Trust's Education Officer during 2013. The company's generous sponsorship will ensure that the Trust can, once again, offer organised activities free of charge to schools throughout 2013.

Find out more

The Trust produces a regular newsletter [PDF] for teachers across the island, detailing nature-themed events that can be organised for pupils of all ages.

Contact our Biodiversity Education Officer Dawn Dickens to chat through your requirements and to find out more, by phone: (01624) 844432 or mobile or by email: dawn@manxwt.org.uk