John Muir Award

John Muir Award

Aaron, Harry, Kieran, Matthew and Colby have been taking part in the John Muir Award.  The award is split into four parts, to discover a wild place, to explore it, to do something to protect it and finally to share the experience.  The place the Owls class discovered was the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Site of Lopham Fen.

Discovery

The Owls learners watched a video about John Muir the famous naturalist, pioneer conservationist and American Transcendentalist.  The learners made a display in the classroom about what they had learnt about John Muir and some of his most famous quotes.

We discovered that Lopham Fen is owned by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.  The Suffolk Wildlife Trust is part of the National Wildlife Trust which manages various nature reserves around the country.  We discovered that Lopham Fen is most famous for its raft spiders.  Staff and learners were lucky enough to see a raft spider on one of our visits.

As part of our discovery of the fen we looked at the wildlife that lived there.  The learners learnt how to use a dichotomous key to identify wildflowers and trees.  We also carried out a bio-blitz to see what wild animals and birds lived on the fen.

We saw plenty of wild plants including garlic mustard, herb robert, marsh marigolds, oak, hawthorn, yellow flag iris, and meadowsweet.  We also discovered a lot of wild animals including roe deer, konik ponies, hobbys, marsh harriers, cuckoos and raft spiders.

Explore

The award encourages learners to explore a wild place and visit at different times of the year.  The Owl learners took full advantage of this opportunity and looked at the different habitats on the fen.  This included woodland, grassland and fenland.

The learners also learnt about how to survive in the wild by learning the important bushcraft skills of shelter building and making hot drinks.

The learners also discovered about some of the myths and folklore associated with wild places.  We made some green man faces on the trunks of trees with clay and the resources we found in the woods.  We also learnt about elf and fairy lore and made some elf houses.

The learners also made some Magic Wands just like in Harry Potter which they have been reading in class. The teacher taught them the top secret rain spell, “Barbeque, Bank Holiday, Wimbledon!”

The wands were a big success.

Preserve

The learners learnt all about protecting the environment in science lessons.  They also made sure they did not drop any litter and picked up any litter they found when it was safe to do so.  The learners also discovered about the preservation of the raft spiders and wrote an article in the school Magazine the Magic Tree with their top tips for protecting the environments.

Owl’s Top 5 Conservation Tips

  1. Pick Up Litter
  2. Educate family and friends and family
  3. Don’t disturb the Environment
  4. Join the Wildlife Trust and do the John Muir Award
  5. Plant native plants

Share

The Owls made a display to share their experiences with all who came to visit the classroom

The Owls class have enjoyed their John Muir experience and are looking forward to receiving their certificates.  They have learnt about wildlife, habitats, conservation as well bushcraft and folklore.