Earth Science is an exciting subject to teach in class and out doors, and nowhere in the world has more to offer than Scotland! Your pupils will probably be excited and interested in topics such as volcanoes and fossils, but there are plenty of opportunities to go much further and explore the richness of Scotland’s story, connecting the rocks beneath the surface with the shape of the land and the way that people have lived in the past and present.
The Curriculum for Excellence encourages teaching in Earth Science to link science and social science topics and to explore the landscape of Scotland and elsewhere. There are many resources and organisations available to support teaching in Scottish schools. And with a better understanding of the Earth, developing an informed attitude towards the environment becomes easier too.
Your first port of call should be the Scottish Earth Science Education Forum (SESEF) offering CPD workshops and free online resources www.sesef.co.uk.
The Earth Science Education Unit (ESEU) offers free CPD workshops for the Curriculum for Excellence, including Scotland Rocks! (lower Primary) Scotland’s Rocky Journey (upper Primary – Secondary) and Scotland on a Plate (Secondary) www.earthscienceeducation.com.
Other useful websites
- British Geological Survey Education – a large section targeted at schools covering various topics on general geology and British geology www.bgs.ac.uk/discoveringGeology/home.html. You can use the Geology of Britain viewer to find out more about your local geology.
- TES Teaching Resources is where teachers share and download free lesson plans, classroom resources, revision guides and curriculum worksheets, and it has lots of links to good quality geology teaching resources [http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resources/]
- Earth Science World Image Bank – a fantastic resource of free photographs for educational use [http://www.earthscienceworld.org/imagebank/]
- Oxford University Natural History Museum Learning Zone – a great site full of information and activities on rocks, fossils and minerals [http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/index.htm]
- Rockwatch – a national club for those pupils who are fascinated by all things geology [http://www.rockwatch.org.uk/]
- Scotese Palaeomaps – Christopher Scotese is one of the world’s leading palaegeographic scientists (recreating past maps). His website gives maps and animations of earth at different times in geological history, including the Pangaea super-continent [http://www.scotese.com/earth.htm]
- Earth Science Teachers’ Association – www.esta-uk.net includes a comprehensive resource section with links to other sites, lots of practical ideas for teaching Earth Science and sources of books, maps, equipment and specimens.
Other resources: downloadable simplified geological map of Scotland, which is free to use for educational purposes.