- Science, History, Geography
- Curriculum Strands:
- Local Studies (History), Early people and ancient societies (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Human environments (Geography), Natural environments (Geography), Living things (Science)
- Counties catered for:
- Donegal, Kilkenny
- Classes catered for:
- All Classes
Aengus has been working with children in the outdoors for over twenty years and has been part of the Environmental Education Team at Glenveagh National Park for the last five. Aengus' areas of expertise include:
- Birds of the North West
- Bog Studies
- Garden Habitats
- How to Survey Nature (incorporating maths)
- Minibeast Days
- Natural History of the North West since the Ice Age
- River Studies
- Seashore Studies
- Woodland Days
School visits (virtual)
Topic: The wren and the nature they need
Classes: 2nd to 6th
Materials: SESE copybook or a sheet of paper, colouring pencils for each student. Trays, jars, a stick and ID sheets (if taking part in the mini-beast hunt outside).
Session 1 (pre-recorded, approximately 15 mins)
Short video introduction to be shown in the classroom shot in a Donegal garden, showing where the wren makes their nests, where they ‘hang out’, the material they use to build a nest and a piece on how to hunt for bugs in bushes to find the food wrens like to eat.
Session 2 (live, approximately 45 mins)
- Introduction and discussion on what the wren eats (what could be found on a mini-beast hunt) (10 mins)
- How to draw a wren step by step, a simple format which the students follow and together we draw a wren in their SESE copybooks. (20 mins)
- A five minute listening section with lots of wren facts; students pick their favourite four or five as they listen and write them beside their drawing. (5 minutes)
- Feedback from students on their favourite facts and question time. (5-10 minutes).
Worksheets & teacher's notes:
• Teacher factsheet on mini-beast hunting and where to purchase suitable equipment and some online resources.
• Teacher factsheet about the wren.
• Practical tips on how to draw the wren in the classroom to help guide the students through this part of the lesson.
School visits (on-site)
On his on-site visits, Aengus assists the children in surveying the plant and animal life in the vicinity of the school grounds. He also guides the children in designing their own nature trail or with any environmental initiatives such as the Green Flag for Biodiversity. Visits include a guided tour of local nature areas such as woodlands and the seashore where child-led, practical activities immerse the children in the outdoors. Back in the classroom, Aengus facilitates art workshops to record what the children have spotted while out and about! Visits can include a number of shorter workshops with a number of class groups or longer sessions with one class. Longer term projects can also be facilitated through the five-series visit.
"Aengus worked very well with the children and the staff, he has great enthusiasm which is very refreshing."
"The classroom lesson before going outdoors was very important. Aengus differentiated the lesson really well across the whole school. The children thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and were completely engaged for the whole day. Pupils were stimulated to the extent that they did lots of follow-up work with their families on the beach in mid-term break bringing all sorts back to school for sorting and discussion in the classroom (after mid-term). The pupils now have a great understanding of the biodiversity and the importance of the sea and the seashore."
"Aengus was very enthusiastic and the children really enjoyed the visit and learned and gained a lot of knowledge"
"Aengus had a great rapport with the children. He was very enthusiastic and the children were really engaged and enjoyed every minute of the day"
"Fantastic visit. Aengus brought a variety of stuffed birds and eggs/nests. Pupils enjoyed a talk and fieldtrip. Aengus linked in with 'Something Fishy' project with a fieldtrip to the lake. A wonderful, practical learning experience for pupils"
"The children really enjoy Aengus' visits and always look forward to the next one."
"Super engaging for the children, enjoyable workshop with info geared for both the junior and senior end of the school."
"Aengus Kennedy is excellent at explaining things and working with children."
"Aengus was excellent, he had a great range of resources and gave opportunity to children to work in groups."
"Fantastic learning experience as usual!"
"OVERALL A VERY INFORMATIVE DAY AND THOROUGHLY ENJOYED BY ALL - DAY NOT LONG ENOUGH! AENGUS HAS A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE TO IMPART AND IS SO PASSIONATE ABOUT HIS WORK."
"Aengus's enthusiasm and delivery to the children is simply the best. He motivates the children to think outside the box and to really think." - St. Joseph's N.S, Ratmullan
"Kept children engaged, information pitched well for class level, hands-on activities."
"Aengus has a wealth of knowledge and the children and teachers were all very impressed."
"A fantastic day for all pupils- Well done Aengus!" - Scoil Naomh Padraig, Drumfries
"Excellent varied interactive, hands-on sessions were enjoyed by all pupils." - Ayr Hill NS, Donegal
"Aengus was fabulous and the children gained so much knowledge and information. He was engaging and explained everything so clearly and at a level that children could understand." - Anon.
"An amazing day pitched at the correct level for all age groups used our environment and the kids were so enthusiastic. Great tutor." - St Baithin NS, Donegal
"An amazing educational experience for the pupils in the local area. Motivating pupils and instilling them with an interest for, and a love of,nature. Aengus has a wealth of knowledge which he manages to share in a lively, engaging fashion. Pupils and teachers had a great day exploring the autumn woodland habitat, visiting a local fort and learning about migration at Inch Wildlife Reserve." - Donagh NS, Donegal
"Excellent as always, thoroughly engaging and a perfect balance between classroom work and outside work." - Scoil Mhuire, Donegal
"Excellent specialist, has pupils fully engaged for workshops." - Ayr Hill NS, Donegal
"The facilitator was able to pitch at the correct Level for each group. A real success. The children got so much from the days." - St Baithin’s NS, Donegal
"Aengus is a breath of fresh air, he inspires and motivates the children to become global citizens who want to save the earth." - Gartan NS, Donegal
"Always an excellent hands-on workshop using the outdoors and local amenities to the maximum. This is hugely beneficial to both pupils and teachers to learn more about their local environment, in terms of biodiversity and local awareness( woodland exploration)." - Ayr Hill NS, Donegal
"We enjoyed a trip to woods in the local area. We were able to explore the area safely. Aengus told us about the different plants and mini-beasts that we came across. Aengus helped us to identify the different bird songs that we heard. The children enjoyed searching for the mini-beasts in small groups and using the little magnifying jars to have a better look. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to make little mouse houses, but hopefully that will be a nice activity to look forward to at another time." - St. Patrick's Girls' NS, Donegal
"We had a virtual visit with Aengus Kennedy recently which was excellent. Aengus sent us fantastic resources and materials prior to his visit which included teachers notes, recorded videos and activities for the children to complete. They particularly enjoyed taking part in the quizzes and completing the artwork. The children were totally engaged throughout the presentation and enjoyed answering and asking questions afterwards. A huge thanks to Aengus for his fabulous work!" - Anon.
"I cannot recommend this virtual Heritage in School session highly enough. The children were totally spellbound it. It was highly engaging, rich in education and so enjoyable. The children learned so much about the natural world that exists on their doorstep. It has even inspired some to conduct further research on our native birds. They have asked when can we do this again!" - Fintra NS
"My first and second class thoroughly enjoyed their heritage in school session with Aengus. He was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about his subject. He kept the children engaged throughout with practical activities. We all learnt a lot." - SN na gCluainte
"A very rewarding piece of learning on the wren with efficient use of time." - St Patrick's Boys NS
"Our class thoroughly enjoyed our session with Aengus. His enthusiasm and knowledge engaged each pupil and created an interest in the topic discussed." - St Boden's NS
"What a brilliant initiative by Heritage in Schools live online sessions. Our Zooms with Aengus Kennedy were really outstanding. Thanks for the hard work behind these presentations." - Scoil Fhionáin
"This was a new experience for this class. The pupils enjoyed the preparation and the live lesson. They were totally engaged throughout . The presenter of course was already popular with many of the pupils." - Anon.
"We really enjoyed Aengus' lesson about the wren, delivered with his usual enthusiasm and love for all things nature. Aengus has a great wealth of knowledge and has a creative way of delivering it to the children." - Anon.
- Caters for Special Needs
- Provides practical/ hands-on activities
- Provides field trips