Putting the Hope back in Hope Hill

This unit of work engages young people in a project that is rich in scope but also grounded in a real world, authentic context that will be tangible to Scottish school children. Set in a fictional town in West Lothian, the project exposes learners to issues of sustainable development. This context will be pertinent to many living in towns that have suffered from industrial decline and are now seeking new identities as they expand with new housing and associated infrastructure. Based loosely on the new Heartlands development adjacent to Whitburn in West Lothian, which is one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe; young people will learn about how the provision of power, housing and the treatment of waste can be a sustainable process.

One of the key learning theories employed in this unit is the use of an authentic learning context that has tangible links to life beyond school, particularly with regards to the world of work and global citizenship. Authenticity in education is the provision of learning experiences that relate to the lives of pupils and experiences that they are likely to encounter later in adult life (Hennessy and Murphy, 1999). It is argued by Snape & Foz-Turnbull (2013) that authentic projects which have ‘real-world’ contexts expose learners to a wider range of experiences that are transferable to the situations that they are likely to encounter in the workplace, therefore fostering a sense of responsibility for life beyond the classroom. Continue reading “Putting the Hope back in Hope Hill”

A Hive of Activity

Bees have been in the news, if not back in the fields pollinating the summer crops. The plight of the honeybee has received national media coverage and has led to the Scottish Government implementing policies to promote their health and increase their numbers. This has led to an increase in the popularity of beekeeping as a hobby and to an increase in small enterprises producing, and selling, bee related products. In this project the learners will be asked to develop an understanding of the importance of the honey bee in relation to the world that we live in and to take an active role in the sustainable future of the species. The unit is developed in partnership with the Forestry Commission and can be further enhanced through the involvement of local bee keeping trusts. The culmination of this unit will be the manufacture of a workable beehive and its set up, and maintenance, as a honey producing colony. This will take place within a SQA National 4 Practical Woodwork project and will involve small task skill building lessons leading on to the big task of manufacturing the working beehive. Once the manufacture stage is complete the opportunity is there, in collaboration with the Forestry commission, to introduce a colony of bees, and once mature, sustainably farm the honey with a view to setting up a small enterprise in an SQA National 4 Business project.

You can download a presentation here (pptx, 1.9MB) and a poster here (pdf, 1.7MB).