Activity: Windfarms: debate the pros and cons

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Day visit to a site with potential for building a windfarm in your nearest national park e.g. Holne Moor, Dartmoor, which has ecological/historical/scientific areas of interest, plus day follow-up in school.
NB Can be done as classroom activity but outcomes are better after outdoor visit.
Who for?
Key stage 2 and 3 - England and Wales
Who by?
This activity is for you to take (or it can be lead by a member of the National Park education team) including planning a site visit and inviting an audience to witness the ultimate debate.

Activity aims:

Pupils will consider society's energy needs, climate change and potential conflicts over generating renewable energy.

They will visit a protected landscape that appears ideal for the development of a wind farm but which has both wildlife and archaeological 'hidden treasures'.

Returning to the classroom they will investigate likely local opinions and develop specific team roles for the debate. The 'grand finale' is the live debate.

Students will learn about:

  • Perceptions of landscapes
  • Importance of critically evaluating evidence – developing objective opinions
  • New skills: Use of field-surveying techniques – e.g. vegetation surveys using quadrants
  • Subjective opinions - placing themselves in others' shoes to understand different viewpoints of stakeholders
  • Balancing objective and subjective views helps develop pupils' critical-thinking skills
  • There are opportunities for a variety of styles of learning – visual, hands-on/practical, numeric, literary and team work
  • Emphasis is on literacy – persuasive writing and speaking

What you will need:

A guide to the activity with links to fact sheets is downloadable here:

dartmoor_activity guide_pdf

Curriculum links (England):

  • QCA geography unit 12 (section 4) and unit 20 (section 5 & 6)
  • Role-play, consideration of the views of others, debate and resolving issues are all important parts of the follow-up day
  • The activity also links to National Curriculum geography enquiry and skills (1d and 2g) and knowledge and understanding of environmental change (5a)
  • There are also aspects of the activity that have links to citizenship unit 10

New Secondary Curriculum:

Whole curriculum dimensions:

  • Community participation
  • Global dimension and sustainable development
  • creativity and critical thinking

A framework of personal, learning and thinking skills:

  • Independent enquirers
  • Creative thinkers
  • Reflective learners
  • Team workers
  • Self-managers
  • Effective participators

Primary Curriculum review -

  • Human, social and environmental understanding and scientific and technological understanding (both content) through literacy, numeracy, ACT, skills for learning and life (processes)
  • The review is also stresses the importance of intellectual progression - based on prescribed content, pedagogy and development of thinking skills