Fieldwork is an important approach in the curriculum, especially in the Natural and Social Sciences. You can conduct
practical fieldwork investigations in your own school grounds, in the neighbourhood around your school, or at sites of
special interest - from museums and nature reserves to factories and water purification works.
This section provides some general tips to help you plan and conduct effective field trips to a natural area. We have used Learning Outcomes from the Natural Sciences to provide a curriculum framework for the field trip, but you could just as easily develop a field trip for any other Learning Area.
Field Trips and the Curriculum Field trips are valuable educational opportunities that should be well planned and integrated into the broader programme of work you are doing at school. They are ideal opportunities for integrated learning. In the Natural Sciences, for example, you can investigate (NS LO1) a local sustainability issue (NS LO3), drawing on relevant knowledge and concepts (NS LO2) to help you understand, investigate and respond to the issue.
When planning a unit of work that includes a field trip, look carefully at the learning outcomes you wish to cover and schedule learning activities according to the most appropriate venue for each stage of the activity, e.g.:
NS LO1: Scientific Investigations
Plan the investigation in the classroom with the learners before you go on the field trip
Conduct the investigation and collect data while you are on the field trip
Evaluate data and communicate findings back in the classroom after the field trip.
NS LO2: Constructing Science Knowledge
Make sure that learners are familiar with terms and concepts before you go on the field trip so that they can recall meaningful information while working on their investigation.
Practise cognitive skills (e.g. categorising and interpreting information) and work with concepts in class or in a familiar fieldwork setting (e.g. school grounds) before applying these skills and concepts in an unfamiliar setting such as a nature reserve or museum.
While on the field trip, collect data accurately and systematically, so that learners have meaningful data to categorise / interpret in the classroom.
NS LO3: Science, Society and the Environment
Introduce learners to issues relating to their fieldwork excursion before the field trip, so that they can investigate the issues practically during the field trip and respond appropriately after analysing their findings. Hint
Use the verbs (“doing” words) in the learning outcomes and assessment standards to help you design practical fieldwork-based learning activities.