Noah's ark zoo farm wins prize:

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Postby cathy » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:15 am

This is really scary, creationism has no place on the national curriculum and therefore anyone offering it as any explanation for anything, no matter how vaguely, should not be accredited by any organisation used in state education. Is it too late to write a letter. Have any of you written to Gove about it? Not that it would do much good but it's good to keep the pressure on. Their timing's perfect btw. Every school in the country is broken up and most teachers will only be looking at the jobs pages in TES.
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Postby Brian Jordan » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:53 pm

After sufficient coffee, I skimmed through the rest of the Telegraph comments, which mostly comprise a squabble between seeming regulars with nothing much new to report. However, that early one pointing to the TES cited a remark in the CLOTc response which I should have picked up on when I got mine:
"Elaine Skates, its deputy chief executive, said that all places are carefully assessed before approval.

“We believe that an important aim of learning outside the classroom is allowing children and young people access to education that challenges assumptions and allows them to experience a range of viewpoints,” she said."
This suggests that they knew that it was "controversial" before they issued the award and seems (IIRC, perhaps someone else will check their site to confirm this) to have nothing to do with their criteria for the awards. It looks like standard creationist boilerplate to me and could imply a mole. There or more likely wherever they're getting their money from.
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Postby cathy » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:21 am

The comment from Elaine Skates suggests she is on seriously dodgy ground. I was under the impression learning outside the classroom referred to either outside opportunties to learn more about whats on the national curriculum-eg science museums, geography field trips, castles, theatre trips-or opportunities to try new things outside of it-eg D of E or off timetable days or enterprise schemes. Challenging assumptions and exposing kids to a range of viewpoints usually refers to things like taking christian kids to see the local mosque and vice versa-which is on the RE curriuclum. LOTC is NOT about challenging whats on the national curriculum and it's certainly not about pushing a particular political/religious view or presenting fantasy as fact. Her comment gives you fairly good grounds for complaining to ofsted and the dfe about the institution. Who have you all written to? Is it worth sending copies of those letters to ofsted?

Was the lotc thing set up in response to the ofsted research about benefits of learning outside the classroom and the reluctance of lots of schools to risk it?
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Postby psiloiordinary » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:41 am

Response from CLOTC;

On 10 Aug 2010, at 10:36, CLOtC enquiries wrote:

thanks for your email concerning the recent award of the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge to Noah's Ark Zoo Farm.

The criteria for awarding the LOtC Quality Badge are that the organisation must offer good quality learning outside the classroom and manage risk effectively. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom is very committed to equality and we will award the Quality Badge to an organisation that can demonstrate that it meets these criteria; past awards have included Interfaith Kirklees and Canterbury Cathedral without any implied endorsement of their religious base.

CLOtC believes that an important aim of learning outside the classroom is allowing children and young people access to education that challenges assumptions and allows them to experience a range of viewpoints; giving them the tools needed to be proactive in their own learning and develop skills to enable them to make well informed decisions..

CLOtC is an independent charity.

Kind Regards

Here is my response;

Hi xxxx,

I think you might have inadvertently sent me a reply you meant for someone else.

You can see my original email below.

Here is a summary of the points I made that you have not addressed at all;

the zoo was throw out of its own professional body for misconduct
the zoo promotes nonsense as science
the material in the zoo is specifically ruled out for use in the national curriculum

I did not object to religious school trips, my own daughter has been on some and I endorse religious education covering a range of faiths for all children.

My main objection is that the zoo promotes its religious agenda by promoting nonsense as science. How this meets a quality criteria I would be interested to hear.

The material promoted by the zoo flatly contradicts the known science. Would you endorse a museum promoting holocaust denial if it was safe and deemed to be of sufficient "quality"? What about vaccine denialism being promoted in flat contradiction of the NHS advice? What about Aids deniers or how about mathematicians who think that 2 + 2 = 4?

I am sure that many other organisations that labour to ensure they get their facts right for the children will be extremely shocked to know that as far as your organisation is concerned this is a waste of time.

Please will you now address the issues I have raised?


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Postby Kekerusey » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:49 am

Yeah I saw this ... I wanted to send a reply to someone, possibly to some national newspapers but I genuinely wasn't sure who to contact.

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