Students will show off biosphere work

STUDENTS will next week put on display the work they have done as part of an exciting project to develop the educational use of the North Devon Biosphere Reserve. Over the last two years, students from five local secondary schools - Bideford College, Bra

STUDENTS will next week put on display the work they have done as part of an exciting project to develop the educational use of the North Devon Biosphere Reserve.Over the last two years, students from five local secondary schools - Bideford College, Braunton School and Community College, Park Community School, Pilton Community College and West Buckland School - have been working closely with the North Devon Coast and Countryside Service and North Devon Council to learn about the area of natural importance. The project has been funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and has enabled students to get out of the classroom and carry out fieldwork. Their studies included investigations along Braunton Burrows, lessons on Coastal Management at Westward Ho! and audio-visual tours around Saunton and Braunton Burrows.An interactive website is now being set up to allow the public to see their work. It is also hoped the website will enhance learning in schools across the UK and world-wide, by allowing other students to explore the Biosphere Reserve from their classrooms.Andy Bell, Biosphere Reserve Co-ordinator for North Devon Coast and Countryside Service, says: "The Biosphere Schools Programme is very much a flagship project within the reserve. Students develop geography field study skills and use Node Explorers, a new technology for the audiovisual tours to provide commentary, with the team. It has been a really great journey. The project has added to the Explore Braunton Project and has stimulated a host of other activities within our education work, featured in a recent BBC film, Rising Tides. Some of the data generated by the students will be useful for us to monitor the changes in our environment across North Devon."Assistant Head Teacher at Braunton School and Community College, David Butt, who is also the Portfolio Holder for Youth and Diversity at North Devon Council, says: "Everybody who has taken part in this wonderful and challenging project should take pride in what they have achieved. The fieldwork provided an excellent opportunity for children from different schools to work together. We hope to continue this partnership and we can't wait to show off our work on the new website." Matt Brimson, Head of Geography at West Buckland School says "The project aims to broaden the perception of the public and raise awareness of the geography here in North Devon. We want students and the public to understand what makes the area special, through fieldwork and geographical enquiry. It has been a great opportunity for the students to take part in some fieldwork, not only geography but biology as well."The public is being invited to look at the students' work at an exhibition and workshop at Saunton Sands on Friday, March 27 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.


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