With soaring sand dunes, modern cities, spectacular mountains that reach up to 10,000 feet into the sky, warm hospitality, frankincense covered uplands, a coastline that stretches for more than 3,000km and a rich culture and heritage that goes back some 5,000 years, Oman is a geographical paradise.
In the very desert where, in the 1980s, the Royal Geographical Society undertook the most intensive research study of any arid environment, in late 2017, exactly 40 years after that research ended, Oman will open its first purpose-built centre for outdoor learning in the Sharqiya sands.
The Discovering Oman project aims to produce a series of innovative, online, curriculum-linked educational resources for geography teachers in the UK and Oman. The project will run in two phases. Each phase will see a fully-funded, week-long fieldwork visit to Oman for teachers and young geographers to gather data to create and develop engaging lesson plans. Phase one will be:
• Winter 2017/18 – KS2 (P6/7 in Scotland) and KS3 (S1/S2 in Scotland)
In winter 2017/18, one place will be awarded to an outstanding teacher and pupil from key stage 2, the second from key stage 3, and also their Scottish equivalents. In phase two, in winter 2018/19, the focus will be on GCSE and A-level, and their Scottish equivalents-details of which will be announced separately.
The Discovering Oman team is looking for outstanding geography teachers and outdoor practitioners to join them to help fulfil the following aims:
• To inspire young geographers, and promote the relevance and excitement of geography, outdoor learning and field research.
• To raise awareness and promote a long-term understanding of Oman amongst young people in the UK through the creation of a series of online lesson plans.
Successful geography teachers and outdoor practitioners will travel to Oman and take part in fieldwork at the Desert Outdoor Learning Centre and other localities. The prize will include the opportunity for one young geography pupil, from the winning schools, to accompany their teacher to take part in the learning experience within Oman, with the aim of creating a number of online lesson plans.
To design an engaging lesson plan linked to any element of the geography curriculum. The plan must provide a comparison between Oman and UK. The layout should illustrate how the selected theme, topic or key question could be presented in an engaging, accessible and relevant way, and applied within the Discovering Oman project.
This brief is deliberately open-ended to provide you with the flexibility to showcase how you might work with the project team in a creative, original and dynamic way to engage as many young people and teachers as possible with the Discovering Oman project.
Closing date for entries is 6 May 2017.
• Click here to read about Mark’s epic crossing of the Empty Quarter.