Free Outdoor Science Programme Available To Secondary Students

To boost academic achievement at KS3-4


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The Royal Parks Foundation’s education team is launching an outdoor learning programme to support students to succeed in sciences at KS3 and KS4, the first programme of its kind in the Royal Parks. The sessions are free for UK based secondary schools thanks to generous funding from Deutsche Bank, as part of their commitment to bringing learning to life for young people. Sessions take place in state-of-the-art education facilities at the Isis Education Centre in the heart of Hyde Park, London.

Recent school league tables+ show 215 schools missing government targets for students achieving five GCSE’s at A*-C, but research shows that getting outside and hands-on improves students’ attainment particularly in science subjects and helps schools improve their own achievement in teaching these subjects. Outdoor education not only helps students with a deeper understanding of science, but it also helps develop their life skills and enables them to see the application of scientific theory to the real world.

Emma Keegan, Assistant Head Teacher at Queen Elizabeth Jubilee II, says:
“The outdoor education programme designed with us by the Isis Education Centre is fundamental to our students gaining meaningful, practical experience, something they can really build on and be proud of. A particular strength of the sessions on offer is that they encourage skills development and reflective learning, providing the students with tools to help them make progress and have something to show for their efforts that people value”.

Sara Lom, Chief Executive of the Royal Parks Foundation, the charity responsible for the Isis Education Centre says:
“In London many young people have little or no access to green space although it has been shown that contact with nature is beneficial to their education, physical and mental health and wellbeing.Our brand new, purpose-built, environmental education centre in Hyde Park provides children of all abilities with the opportunity to experience inspiring environmental activities. By providing specialist support for the GCSE and BTEC syllabi we are helping raise achievement in science across the secondary age group.”

In September 2011, The Science and Technology Select Committee published a report which concluded that both practical lessons and learning outside the classroom are essential contributors to good quality science education. When looking at barriers to participation, the report focused on the strong need for well trained and confident teachers and for fit-for-purpose facilities to enable effective practical work to take place in the sciences. The Isis Education Centre addresses both areas through training for teachers and trainee teachers in fieldwork techniques, and through the well-equipped ecology rooms situated in the centre of London.

The Isis Education Centre is open year round – during term time for school bookings and community education during holidays. To find out more visit;

+ 2012 league tables, published on 24 January 2013 shows, 594 (23.4%) of the 2,540 schools teaching A-levels had no pupils with the two As and a B in the subjects recommended for top degree courses. The data also shows 215 schools missed the new government target of 40% of pupils obtaining five A*-C GCSEs.

February 12, 2013