Fridays at West Gore School have looked a bit different this year.
The school has been using a new programme that allows pupils to explore a subject of interest while out and about at Dolamore Park.Senior classroom teacher Rachael Flaus said the programme had been successful for teachers and pupils.
 “They are having a brilliant time in a different environment but still bringing all that learning and all that knowledge back to the classroom,” she said.

The programme was designed to fit in with the Explore our Local curriculum and encouraged pupils to continue their learning through play and exploration in a different environment while also exploring their passions.
Ms Flaus said the pupils were engaging with a variety of subjects while at the park.
“They are learning science through the living world, bugs, fossils, bones and taking them back to the classroom and doing research.

“They are learning art by sketching the native environment; technology and the design process by creating a hut or shelter; and physical education by being out and about in the environment.”
They were also learning teamwork and problem solving, and using real life experiences to put those great skills into action, she said.
The school started the programme in 2021, Ms Flaus said.
“We started taking six classes ranging from year 2 to year 6 out on Fridays for weekly workshops. Some of these focuses were on stream studies, bees, pest control, survival skills and mapping.
“We have been going throughout 2022, and earlier this month, the whole school went to Dolamore Park for the day. It’s definitely something we plan to continue in 2023.”
The programme could not go ahead without the support of Active Southland, which had provided funding tosupport the weekly adventures, Ms Flaus said.