Teachers’ area

How to use the Countryside Investigators resources

Countryside Investigators aims to encourage Key Stage 2 children to learn about the countryside by exploring 10 interesting rural jobs. The resource is made up of a number of elements designed to be used flexibly:

The emphasis throughout is on learning about the protection, conservation and enjoyment of the countryside through practical and fun activities for the 7–11 age group. The learning materials on the site are all written to complement ongoing work at KS2 and to tie in with a number of National Curriculum subjects for England and Wales, including: Geography, Citizenship, English, Science, ICT and Art & Design. They also link with learning areas within the Curriculum for Excellence.

Videos

The videos can be watched on each character's page (e.g. Farm > farmer). They act as introductions to the 10 rural roles and are an excellent way to show children what goes on in the countryside. Each one features a real person currently carrying out the role, and shows the work involved as well as revealing some of the attractions and quirks of the job. To help children relate to the content of the films, our two Countryside Investigators, Felix and Milo, act as guides and explore the countryside from a young person's point of view.

Facts and information

The facts and information pages can be found on each character's page (e.g. Farm > farmer). They act as a simple reference guide to the 10 countryside jobs, and are written for pupils to use. Each one features a brief introduction to the role, followed by facts and figures about the work involved.There is also related information for each role with the emphasis on conservation and protection of the countryside and its wildlife. These pages can be printed out and used as fact sheets. Simply expand all the links before printing.

Interactive games

The games are fun challenges that will motivate children to learn about these jobs and how they affect the landscape of the English countryside. Each activity has a scoring/feedback system, which encourages pupils to have a second try and hence reinforce learning. The games require Flash and sound.

image: Dairy farm challenge screenshot
Farm challenge game (farmer)

Pupils try to identify objects, animals and people on two different farms using a multiple-choice approach.

Curriculum links England:

Human and physical geography

Pupils should be taught to:

  • describe and understand key aspects of:
  • physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
  • human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.

Curriculum links Scotland:

People, Place and Environment

Literacy Reading:

Finding and Using Information

Understanding Analysing and Evaluating

Health and Well-being:

Food and Health

Go to the farmer page to play the game
image:store detectives screenshot
Store detective game (shopkeeper)

Players run a village store, choosing items to sell, setting prices and trying to make a profit in order to keep the shop open.

Curriculum links England:

Human and physical geography

Pupils should be taught to:

  • describe and understand key aspects of:
  • physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle.

Curriculum links Scotland:

Finding and Using Information

Understanding Analysing and Evaluating

Health and Well-being:

Food and Health

Go to the shopkeeper page to play
the game
image: forest fun
Forest fun game (forester)

In this game, pupils decide where to place 10 new recreational activities in a forest, trying to find the best location for each one without disturbing the environment or logging work.

Curriculum links England:

Human and physical geography

Pupils should be taught to:

  • describe and understand key aspects of:
  • physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle.

Curriculum links Scotland:

Social Studies

People, Place and Environment

People in society, economy and business

Literacy Reading:

Finding and Using Information

Understanding Analysing and Evaluating

Go to the Forester page to play
the game
image: estate flip
Estate flip game (estate manager)

In this game, pupils decide where to place 10 new recreational activities in a forest, trying to find the best location for each one without disturbing the environment or logging work.

Curriculum links England:

Human and physical geography

Pupils should be taught to:

  • describe and understand key aspects of:
  • human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.

Curriculum links Scotland:

Social Studies

People, Place and Environment

People in society, economy and business

Mathematics: Number, Money and Measure:Time

Go to the estate manager page to play
the game

Online quizzes

Six of the characters have an accompanying interactive quiz to reinforce learning. These can be found on the character pages (e.g. Farm > Farm vet). The content of these short multiple-choice quizzes is based on the videos and information pages. Each quiz has 10 questions along with feedback for all answers.
Download the quiz answers

Classroom activities

There are two classroom activities for each of the 10 countryside jobs featured on the site. These are practical, simple-to-organise activities designed to fully involve pupils in the project and help them learn about the countryside through interaction and experience. The activities can be downloaded as PDFs.

Curriculum links

This comprehensive section provides details of all the resource’s curriculum links, organised by subject and theme. All classroom activity PDFs also include curriculum links.

Advice about visits to the countryside

We hope that Countryside Investigators will encourage teachers to arrange for children to visit the countryside and experience some of the wonderful things it has to offer at first hand. Research has shown that there are considerable benefits for children to become involved with nature and there are a number of ways to arrange a great day out. Advice about organising a school trip to a farm or other rural venue is provided, including a risk assessment form, planning guidance and details of organisations that can help.

Useful websites

There is a wide range of useful websites available to help both teachers and children find out more about all aspects of the countryside. The Useful links section has details of recommended sites relevant to both the 10 countryside jobs featured in this resource as well as general information about the countryside.