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Caithness and Sutherland pupils can celebrate Highland wildlife at online learning event

By David G Scott

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Pupils in schools across Caithness and Sutherland are being offered a week of online learning to celebrate wildlife and biodiversity.

Utilising Google Classroom, the online learning will run from September 27 to October 1 with each day covering a different topic.

High Life Highland’s north Lochaber countryside ranger Fiona MacLean said: “The aim of the week is to get pupils involved with the amazing living things in their school grounds and surrounding areas.

Green dock beetle in Caithness. Picture: DGS
Green dock beetle in Caithness. Picture: DGS

“We will be providing videos, challenges and learning materials in our new Google Classroom, and teachers can deliver the activities to their own classes, either in person or via remote learning.

“We hope that getting online will allow us to work with more Highland children and support teachers in delivering outdoor and environmental activities.

“We’re also promoting the newly published Highland Biodiversity Action Plan, which we are partners in. The plan highlights what makes the Highlands special in biodiversity terms and most importantly what can be done to help both preserve and enhance our natural world. We think that’s worth shouting about.”

Tiger moth caterpillar seen near Watten. Picture: DGS
Tiger moth caterpillar seen near Watten. Picture: DGS

The activities are aimed at P7 and S1 aged pupils, but many of the materials will be of interest to pupils in other stages too.

The week will be interactive, and schools are being encouraged to share what they have learned, made, or discovered through social media using the hashtag #HighlifeWildife

Each day a new topic will be launched on the page, though they will remain in place throughout the year:

Monday, September 27

Woodlands: Video about Scottish bluebells and a quiz; ID the trees challenge; food web games and activities; write a woodland poem.

Tuesday, September 28

Fresh Water and Mindfulness: Garden ponds for health and well-being video and quiz; mindfulness map; freshwater creatures quiz; looking at languages – words for water; create a dance.

Learn about pondlife at the special online learning week. Picture: DGS
Learn about pondlife at the special online learning week. Picture: DGS

Wednesday, September 29

The Bone Caves and Rewilding: The Bone Caves of Assynt video and quiz; tracking games; extinct mammals; all about rewilding and make a mask.

Thursday, September 30

Rocky seashore: Seashore video and quiz; Seaweed ID challenge; create a ‘fanta-sea’ sea creature game; design a conservation poster.

Friday, October 1

Lichen safari: Lichen safari video and quiz; air quality science survey of your school grounds; write a story steeped in history.

To take part, teachers, can join the classroom at classroom.google.com/c/MzUyNjg2Nzg1ODk4 or search for the classroom through the code ig52ag4

High Life Highland’s countryside rangers run public events and guided walks throughout the Highlands aiming to raise awareness and encourage appreciation of the scenery, wildlife, and heritage.

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