New web-based education resources went live at Exmoor National Park recently and won top marks from the many teachers who attended the over-subscribed launch event. Free online videos, images and materials accompany the Moorland Classroom project which has been developed by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership and Exmoor National Park Authority.
At the launch, teachers were able to explore the new web resources www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/moorland-classroom and took part in workshops with experts in a variety of subjects including Exmoor ponies, ecology, archaeology, geography, and the history of moorland villages such as Simonsbath and its water-powered sawmill.
David Rolls, who coordinates the Moorland Classroom initiative, said: “The Moorland Classroom project provides unforgettable learning experiences for children, using the unique moorland environment of Exmoor National Park.”
“These new exciting online resources make it easy for primary school teachers to learn about the moorland landscape indoors and outdoors on Exmoor. What’s more, they are totally free, thanks to its funders The Exmoor Trust, the Exmoor National Park Sustainable Development Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
The Moorland Classroom web pages highlight a selection of the most beautiful and interesting locations of the Exmoor countryside – all accessible to visiting groups – and provide a comprehensive package of educational materials for each place, authored by Dave Weatherly, a highly respected educator and curriculum adviser.
Detailed site guides, with unique study themes, provide stacks of printable resources for teachers to use in the classroom, and outdoor learning activities for when they are out on location at Exmoor National Park. Video clips introduce the moorland locations, key topics, and practicalities such as where to park. Photo galleries offer a wealth of visual material, and special interactive maps show walking routes, which are also available to view on Google Earth or to print out for school visits.
At the launch, teachers commented: “The whole Moorland Classroom programme is one of the most exciting, challenging and comprehensive opportunities that I have seen for a long time.”
“Thank you for the fab resources. I need to rethink everything I do in the light of today. There is enough material here for a whole year of outdoor ed!”
“Excellent resources created by experts in their field. I’m determined to embed these resources as a part of our long-term curriculum plan.” “
The new Moorland Classroom online resources – complete with interactive maps, learning enquiries, downloadable resources, Google Earth files, photos and videos – are on the Exmoor National Park Authority website www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/moorland-classroom