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Butterfly & bird watching with the RSPB

Butterfly & bird watching with the RSPB

A group of us had another lovely morning with the RSPB last week at Portmore Lough. 

We scouted the grounds catching site of butterflies, grasshoppers, various bugs and beetles and lots of birds. 

Our numerous questions and queries were answered with the enthusiasm Laura always brings.

The pond was off limits for pond dipping as the newts were breeding but there is no doubt we’ll be back another time for that! 

Art Class with FE McWilliam Gallery

Art Class with FE McWilliam Gallery

Our group had another wonderful artist led art session with FE McWilliam gallery in Banbridge today. 

Taking inspiration from the current exhibition, Scottish Colourists, children ranging from 2-9 traced, drew and painted everyday objects onto a frame. The variation in style and imagination was so lovely to see. 

This was followed by a freestyle make something exercise. 

A few of us followed this up with a few hours in the local park. 

A fantastic day and one we are eager to repeat! 

Air-Tastic Inflatapark

Air-Tastic Inflatapark

Home ed families had a great opportunity to try out Bangor’s new inflatapark this week with Airtastic. 

The venue exceeded expectations and a really fun day was had! 

We’re hoping to repeat this in September! 

Response by Dr Harriet Pattison

The Guidance sets out a clear and legally accurate framework through which families can clarify expectations regarding interactions with EA officials.   

As a specialist researcher into literacy and home education, I continue to be concerned that the Guidelines place insufficient emphasis on the many ways in which learning at home may diverge from learning in school.  There is repeated emphasis given in the guidelines to the legal requirement that education be suitable to a child’s age, ability and aptitude.   Whilst this is the case, it should be highlighted that the transposition of age related bench marks from school to home education is wholly inappropriate and should not be used as either a guidance or expectation.  This may be particularly the case with regards to literacy, reading and writing where the normative framework  imposed by school has frequently been used to inadequately assess the efficacy of home education provision.  Recognition that pedagogic approaches may be different (ie from structured to autonomous) needs to be matched with recognition that learning trajectories may also be very different – for example reading and writing succeeding rather than preceding  other aspects of literacy.”

Tayto Park - Dublin

Tayto Park - Dublin

Over one hundred home educators and their children traveled to Tayto Park this week to take advantage of their superb education rate. 

Though the weather gave its best impression of all four seasons, we had a brilliant time going on all the various rides many times over. Visiting the zoo, the 5D cinema and meeting Mr Tayto himself. 

Tayto Park has something for all ages and it was a fantastic day out. 

Consultation Brief

A short discussion of the key issues relating to the current consultation has been prepared, we hope it will be useful.

Day at Sea for free

Day at Sea for free

Around 70 home educated children and their parents enjoyed a day at sea for free on the non landing ferry cruise from Belfast to Cairnryan.

The kids had a great day enjoying the company of old friends, making new ones and experiencing sailing across the sea.

 

Consultation Announced

Some home educating parents have received letters today inviting them to respond to a new consultation by the EA. This consultation will be on the Guidance drafted by the Working Group over the last two years, which HEdNI has been attending.

HEdNI would encourage all NI home educating parents to join our Facebook group where there will be discussion of the important points. Every home educating parent should take their time with their response, there is no rush.

HEdNI has not yet had sight of the final draft but, unless there are significant changes, we believe that it would be good if this draft was passed. 

There are significant flaws but also very positive aspects to the document, we would encourage all home educating parents to submit a response which says what they *like* about the draft as well as what they do not.

Armagh Planetarium Workshops

Armagh Planetarium Workshops
Armagh Planetarium Workshops
Armagh Planetarium Workshops

Home educating families had two fantastic workshops at Armagh Planetarium this morning. 

The children were split into older and younger groups, they made rockets from plastic bottles and paper that they launched outside by filling with water and blasting. 

In the older group, this was followed by investigating the differences between a normal Earth rock and a meteorite that landed on earth from space. One of them being very heavy and the other light. 

W5 Science Club

W5 Science Club
W5 Science Club
W5 Science Club

Home educators finished up their term time monthly science club this week with investigating caterpillars. 

After an interactive read of The Very Hungry Caterpillar on its 50th anniversary, the kids then got to see real caterpillars. 

The education team put them under the microscope, showing the kids their qualities on the projector.

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