£1.4m lottery grant for pollinator project

A programme to help schools and communities protect pollinating insects has been awarded £1.4 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Polli:Nation project is being developed by Learning through Landscapes in partnership with leading nature organisations including OPAL.

The activity of pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies has been valued at £430 million to UK agriculture each year, but these insects are in severe decline.


Take OPAL surveys into the classroom with new guides

Teachers in Scotland can more easily integrate OPAL surveys into science teaching with the help of new lesson plans and curriculum guides.

The resources, produced by OPAL staff based at Glasgow Science Centre and FSC Scotland, show how survey activities can fit into the country's primary and secondary curriculums.


OPAL survey lesson plans and curriculum links


Schoolchildren looking at slugsUse OPAL surveys as part of your teaching

Our free lesson plans and curriculum guides show you how our activities meet education requirements and take you step-by-step through teaching OPAL surveys to your pupils.

Lesson plans

These plans are designed to integrate into the Scotttish Curriculum for Excellence, but could be adapted for use in schools across the UK.

Tree surveys and twitter takeovers – work experience with OPAL

By Sorcha Leavey
Work experience student

In June I spent a week doing work experience with OPAL, based at Imperial College London in the Centre for Environmental Policy.

Every day leaving South Kensington station I was welcomed with a lively buzz around the University buildings. At 10am on the first day, I arrived at the campus and went upstairs to the OPAL office. After meeting the friendly OPAL team and having a tour of the surrounding area it was time to start working!


In at the deep end – work experience with OPAL

By Kailin Summers
Student at Lycee Français Charles de Gaulle

Having spent critical time in my childhood in the tropics I gained a fair amount of exposure to the outdoors. A diving course opened my eyes to the world beneath the ocean – breathtaking. These experiences were probably my main inspiration to look for a work experience placement in environmental studies; that and the importance attributed to it at school in various subjects.


Interactive learning tool launched

Whether your youngsters want to test their nature knowledge, discover what data can do or learn about our surveys, our Learning Lab can help.

The interactive learning tool aims to inspire young nature lovers and budding scientists through animations, games and easy-to-follow guides.


Pupils 'Go Wild' at science and nature day

More than 130 youngsters from across Devon and Cornwall explored the world of science and nature at an event held by OPAL South West and Plymouth University.

Schools Go Wild gave children from local primary, secondary and special schools the chance to examine tropical bugs in a university laboratory, make a cloud in a bottle as part of the OPAL Weather Roadshow, and go spider hunting in the old walls around the campus.


Get your free heathland teaching resources CD

Teachers, educators and those who want to learn more about lowland heathland have just a few weeks left to grab a copy of our free CD of resources.

The curriculum-linked GCSE and A-level teaching resources, developed last year by our OPAL East Midlands team, focus on one of Britain’s rarest and most-threatened habitats.



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