A Bat-tastic Journey

Bats are the theme of this unit of work and which is aimed towards pupils in Secondary school education as part of their CfE 3rd / 4th level broad general education and developed in partnership with various external enterprises. The contextual theme for the unit is based around an authentic scenario of bats; the protection of them and their habitats; environmental impacts; bat roost construction; and outdoor learning.
Presenting the unit within an authentic context is derived from Situated Learning theory, where authenticity brings a coherent, personally meaningful and purpose to the unit of work whilst set within a social framework. This will promote pupils motivation, interest, engagement and cognitive learning.

Along with fulfilling the CfE needs of learners, this unit of work is intended to be presented and possibly adopted for use by the
project partners, these include: Forest Research, Forestry Commission Scotland, Forest Engineering Group and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. These partners will contribute to the creation of the authentic context setting that will engage and motivate the learners involved.

Together the Technologies, Sciences and Social Studies will combine to form an interdisciplinary unit of work that will break down boundaries across curriculum areas and allow pupils to draw links between them. This cohesive method of learning will develop pupils with holistic knowledge & understanding and enrich the learning that it brings to them. The main learning intentions of this unit are set to focus on aspects that will develop pupils’ understanding of environmental sustainability, including the Circular Economy and upcycling; Global Citizenship; recognition of unit specific knowledge of a bat’s environment, biological requirements, habitats and civilisation influence. These learnings will develop further into the unit and shall influence the Big Task/Creative Practical Task activity, where pupils will be set a challenge of helping protect bats. This will be carried out through fulfilling the need of the Forestry Commission for bat boxes to made that are suitable for roosting. The Forestry Commission will act as the client, where a Design Specifications must be met. Points include, the box should be wind and water tight and have a suitable entry size for the intended bat species. There is also to be a deadline for box completion, so as so bring the responsibility of real world scenario to the challenge. On completion of the challenge, a field trip is to be carried out to a local forest and the pupil’s bat boxes are to be mounted for bat habitation. This final example, where pupils see their boxes installed will instil them with a sense of pride, joy and achievement.

Structuring the unit of work in this way create a truly memorable experience for all pupils and meet the requirements set out within
CfE documentation and contributing towards pupils becoming Confident Individuals, Effective Contributors, Successful Learners and Responsible Citizens.

You can download the poster for this unit by clicking here (pdf, 2.1MB). There is a Presentation here (ppt, 200KB).

Author: Nick Hood

Educator. Physicist. Technophile.

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