FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Northern Ireland

Information for Northern Ireland Assembly Election Candidates

FSC runs courses for all ages and abilities to help people discover the environment. From curriculum based courses for schools, university study and family holidays to professional biodiversity training, over 5,000 learners explored Northern Ireland with FSC last year.

In the run up to the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, FSC wants to shout about the benefits of outdoor learning.

We believe that every child in Northern Ireland should have the opportunity to fully participate and experience all that outdoor learning can offer them. 

As a candidate standing for election, we want to bring to your attention the work that FSC does in Northern Ireland and how this is playing a vital role in delivering Northern Ireland’s aim to ensure that all young people to develop their potential and that they make informed and responsible choices throughout their lives.

Social and Personal Development

FSC believes that outdoor learning can make a significant contribution to achievement because it offers an abundance of opportunities to instil key character traits, including persistence, grit, optimism and curiosity.

Achieve economic wellbeing

High quality day and residential fieldwork are vital for a contemporary education.  Exploring the real world brings classroom learning to life. Fieldwork is essential for students deepen their understanding of science and geography.  With FSC’s use of the latest mobile technology in the field, STEM skills so essential for our economy are also being developed.  

Achieve, irrespective of social and economic background

Outdoor learning engages hard to reach or underachieving groups and has been successfully developed to improve both numeracy and literacy. FSC believes that learning outside the classroom has a significant role to play in closing the attainment gap. FSC’s work delivering the OPAL project in deprived urban and rural areas in Northern Ireland is one way in which we try to offer opportunities to all children.

Despite all its benefits, outdoor learning is under threat.  With increasing budgetary pressures on schools, FSC’s charitable work in Northern Ireland helps disadvantaged school kids attend courses with the rest of their class. 

FSC is calling on all election candidates to support an expectation that all young people will experience a progressive range of outdoor learning and residential experiences.

Quote “When we were on the field trip, we did maths, English and science, but it was like we didn’t realise we were doing it” - Feedback from a student on their residential field trip