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School teachers learned new ways of educating children on the realities of climate change during a training day at Afan Forest Park.
The teachers, from seven schools in the Neath Port Talbot and Swansea areas, tried out some of the activities contained in a new Forestry Commission Wales climate change pack at an INSET day in the park, just outside Port Talbot.
The new pack, which has been devised by the Woodlands for Learning (WfL) team, is aimed at helping Key Stage Two teachers to bring the difficult subject of climate change to life for seven to 11-year-old children in a fun and innovative way.
The pack comprises two booklets containing background information and lesson plans for teachers and all the paper resources required for the activities.
During the training day, which was run by the WfL team in conjunction with Careers Wales West, the teachers discussed the booklets and took part in some of the activities in the pack.
WfL team Education Officer for Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, Amy Phillips, said, “The most popular activity was charcoal-making. Using more wood for energy in place of fossil fuels will help us to reduce our CO2 emissions and this activity aims to illustrate how wood can be a good choice for fuel, if turned into charcoal.
“Many of the teachers had never seen this before and felt this was a unique activity for the children to try which would really help them to understand about sustainable wood use and the carbon cycle.”
The teachers also played the glossary game, which involves children learning about the meaning of words and phrases such as climate change, fossil fuels, sustainability and biodiversity.
Another activity they experienced was, ‘Products that come from trees', which looks at the many uses of wood in our daily lives to illustrate the importance of managing and using woodlands sustainably.
Following the INSET day, the teachers returned to Afan Forest Park with classes of up to 30 children to try out the activities with the help of WfL team members.
The packs can be downloaded from the education pages on the Forestry Commission Wales website to help teachers working on the climate change curriculum.
The schools which took part in the INSET day were Casllwchwr Primary School, Catwg Primary School, Glyncollen Primary School, Cwmrhydyceirw Primary School, Crymlyn Primary School, Sandfields Primary School and Gorseinon Junior School.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
The Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland-based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners.
For more information on the climate change pack, contact Woodlands for Learning team leader Sue Williams on 0300 068 0109, mobile 07789 923830, email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Visit News at FCWales for news, images, press office contact details and links to case studies.
Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email email@example.com