What is Natural History?

Our proposed definition of ‘natural history' is:

"Natural History focuses on understanding the rich and diverse natural world. Through observational study (generating systematic records of direct and indirect observations, often made over long periods of time) and investigation, natural history seeks to understand the diversity, complexities, and interconnectedness, of life on earth in contrasting habitats. Natural history explores how our natural world has been shaped, and how it continues to change, both by natural processes and through human intervention"

Why study Natural History?

Our proposed statement on the purpose of studying Natural History:

"Natural history offers a unique opportunity to observe and engage with the natural world to develop a deeper understanding of the flora and fauna (life on Earth) within it. It is a study of how the natural world has been shaped and has evolved as well as how humans (as part of that natural world) influence, conserve and protect it. It is vital that we continue to develop our understanding of the natural world in order to safeguard the future.

To fully appreciate the complexities of the natural world it is important to study it closely and interact with it through field research and measurement. Natural history provides opportunities to develop skills out in the field as well as in a classroom and/or laboratory. Studying natural history makes an important contribution to understanding the relationship between the natural world and culture, policy decisions, scientific research and technology.

Study of science, geography, history and the arts at key stages 3 and 4 provides a variety of complementary skills and knowledge which support the study of Natural history. This subject supports the development of unique skills and knowledge which give a sharper focus and depth to the complexities of the natural world. The progression pathway for this subject at key stage 5 and beyond could be scientific, geographical, environmental, ecological or natural history itself."

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