When we went to the pond and discovered animals that year 5 didn’t know all about, it was great! Incredible! – Year 5 pupil”
Manchester Met’s environment team have been working with local children who have been exploring some of the Birley’s sustainability features. Working with the Widening Participation team through their schools outreach programme, alongside Primary Science academics from the Faculty of Education – fifteen Manchester Met students were recruited to deliver activities and act as ‘sustainability ambassadors.’
To promote the use of the campus as an open educational resource for local schools and the community and deliver deliver a series activities for Hulme primary schools Rolls Crescent and St Wilfrid’s:
Using the Wetland area, primary school children got stuck in by collecting water samples, and went on to spot and identify the habitats and creatures contained within the water.
Sniff ‘n’ find…
In this ‘nose on’ activity the children used their sense of smell to identify what herbs are grown in the sensory garden, as well as learning about what lives amongst the plants, ladybird lifecycles and food chains.
All about Trees
The last activity saw the pupils learning from the campuses’ well-established trees. They took bark rubbings, identified Mountain Ash and Cherry trees, made art using their leaves and learned how to measure them.
"Working together with the Sustainability Team and the Faculty of Education has been a fantastic experience for the children, for ambassadors and for us as staff members in Widening Participation. The experience the pupils had was unique to anything we have offered before and was an ideal opportunity to combine our aspirations activities that we regularly deliver, with a learning opportunity. The pupils are from schools in Hulme and get to see the Birley campus in a completely different light that transported them to a natural environment; something they will rarely experience from an inner city school. Utilising the campus spaces in this way provided an incredible tool for engagement, and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”
Hannah Wilson, Widening Participation Coordinator.
Over the 2 sunny days, 83 young people took part in the activities as part of the Higher Futures 4 U schools visit. The children finished their visit with a mini graduation to mark their successful completion of the programme.
"I liked it when I was getting cheered on in the graduation! It felt amazing!"
The activities were the first outreach workshops delivered to school children utilising the BREEAM Excellent rated Birley Campus and we are looking forward to working collaboratively with the Widening Participation Team to deliver more outreach activities at Birley Campus in the future.
For more information on how our Widening Participation Team, please email email@example.com