The Seabird Centre at North Berwick has begun a collaboration with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to develop new Environmental Science coursework together. This coursework is linked to the Curriculum for Excellent and is suitable for Nat 5 candidates in Environmental science as well as Biology and Geography teachers.
The course focuses on assessing species distribution which is called ‘zonation’ down a rocky shoreline.
Project Director, Grace Martin, and Head of the Centre’s Marine Advisory Group and Principle Adviser for Marine at Scottish Natural Heritage, Professor John Baxter also contributed to the content.
Both teacher and pupil guides have been developed.
The teachers’ guide features details of mandatory course key areas as well as suggested learning activities, encouraging students to undertake their own research along the shoreline. There is a fieldwork guide, methodologies and information on further resources. The video content features Professor John Baxter who provides a step-by-step guide on how to undertake the practical research.
Andrew Grieveson, Education Officer at the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “Awareness about marine issues and conservation are now high on the agenda and we want to help teachers raise awareness of these issues, among their students, in a scientific way.
“The world’s seas and oceans are facing several growing threats such as plastic pollution and increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the latter of which also contributes to climate change. Combined, these issues pose a serious threat to life in the earth’s marine habitats. It is therefore vital that scientists monitor the distribution of species in our seas and observe the health of their ecosystems.”
Robert Quinn, Head of Qualifications at the Scottish Qualifications Authority, said: “This is a fantastic addition to the resources available to both teachers and learners undertaking the National 5 Environmental Science course. In particular, these materials will encourage learners to research the shoreline as a potential context for their assignment.”
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The Scottish Seabird Centre is currently developing further coursework ideas to offer teachers a range of options for students wishing to carry out marine fieldwork.